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Historic Loyola Chapel continues to evolve

Multi-faith space on Concordia's Loyola Campus expands its services and invites collaboration in 2011
November 18, 2010
By Russ Cooper

The Loyola Chapel has grown with its NDG community since it opened its doors in 1933 as a Jesuit place of prayer. Today, the Chapel is continuing to grow.

In an effort to modernize the Chapel, the university is expanding the Chapel’s services to reflect a contemporary image of the spiritual needs of Concordia and Montreal.

In 2009, the Catholic Archdiocese of Montreal requested the Chapel expand its focus to encompass all faiths.

While honouring its history and heritage, Loyola Chapel development officer Solomon Krueger says the Chapel will become a safe and welcoming space based on trust, respect and fellowship between all religions and beliefs. 

Aside from formally choosing a new name for the Chapel, “the first thing will be to change the physical space,” he says, stating the plans are to include more symbols from varying religions.

“We’re looking at ways to bring representation to different faiths and value systems to make it accessible to all.”

In the new year, the Chapel will primarily concentrate on two of its focus areas in its new identity: integral health and creative arts.

For integral health, Krueger says he’s welcomed a collaboration with the Recreation and Athletics to offer drop-in yoga twice a week – drop by Mondays and Wednesdays at 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. (Yoga sessions will have a small fee.) They’ll also be offering non-denominational meditation Thursdays evenings.

“The ideas are to offer activities that can be integral. Heart, mind, body, spirit. To me, these are practices that can be considered spiritual, that can put you in touch with something deeper inside yourself,” he says. 

For creative arts, Krueger will host a free movement dance gathering once a month, and anyone is welcome to stop in and play the Chapel’s piano.

The other focus areas include religious dimensions, contemplative education, history, sustainability and service/outreach

Krueger encourages students who may be stressed due to exams to drop in to enjoy the peace and quiet. “It’s a good space to regain a bit of clarity and balance,” he says.

The Chapel also hosts Catholic mass, Thursdays at noon and Sundays at 5 p.m.

He and Chapel staff are currently developing a website for students to keep up-to-date with future services offered. Krueger is also welcoming suggestions and requests for future collaborations and activities that fit with the Chapel’s focus areas.

“I’m hoping to inspire those who have ideas to create something – a workshop, a gathering, a dialogue group, any kind of exchange that would be meaningful – to contact me to see how we can set that up. We have this amazing space, and I would love to support [these types of initiatives].”

For any additional information in the time being, Krueger suggests calling him or Chapel Administrator Helen Downie at 514-848-2424 ext. 3588. Or, feel free to stop by. The Chapel is located at 7141 Sherbrooke St. West, adjacent to the Administration Building, and is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Related links:
•    History of Loyola Chapel  
•    Consultation underway to expand mission of Loyola ChapelConcordia Journal, April 15, 2010
•    Concordia Multi-faith Chaplaincy 


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