JESUIT SPIRITUALITY CENTER
ST. CHARLES COLLEGE
GRAND COTEAU, LOUISIANA 70541
June 29, 2000
Dear Fr. Clooney:
I am responding to your letter of June 23 in which you asked for some information and reflections on several topics relating to interreligious dialogue and our Spirituality Center.
With regard to the range of religious diversity among those who come to our Center, I am happy to say that we have individuals from a wide variety of religions coming here, not necessarily in great numbers; but just about every retreat or weekend program that we have includes one or more people of other religions. The most common group would be Episcopalians; we have had a bishop as well as several priests who consistently make retreats with us. It's difficult to say which other religions are represented, since we don't keep an account of this. I would guess that perhaps at least five to ten percent of our clientele would be non-Catholic. We even had a Jewish gentleman here for a directed retreat a couple of years ago. Our local bishop is aware of our openness to people of other religions and supports us in our attempt to make them feel welcome and to have them be a part of our religious activities.
We do have a few specific programs that highlight or draw upon other religious traditions. We have an annual Zen weekend retreat presented by Bob Kennedy, S.J. of the New York Province that draws a capacity crowd. Maureen Conroy, R.S.M. does a variety of Reiki and T'ai Chi Chih workshops that usually brings in a rather large number. In addition to this we have two weekend deMello retreats.
As far as members of the staff having a special interest in other religious traditions, one of our staff members, Fr. Louis Arceneaux, C.M., did his doctoral thesis on "Liturgy, A Way to Christian Unity in the Theology of Frederick Denison Maurice." All of our staff members are certainly open to the promotion of Christian unity and have had the experience of directing individuals of other Christian denominations.
I would be happy to serve as your contact person in these matters. I hope that you find this information helpful in your survey.
Sincerely in Christ,
Albert C. Louapre, S. J
Created: October 4, 2000 Updated: October 4, 2000