At Catholic DePaul University, "Religious Pluralism is Very Much Who We Are"

September 15, 2006

Source: Chicago Tribune

On September 15, 2006 the Chicago Tribune reported, "The official opening of the new Hillel Center at DePaul University on Wednesday might strike casual observers as an odd pairing--like matzo at a lenten fish fry. But the creation of a place where Jewish students can practice their faith and find a home away from home is consistent with the core values of the nation's largest Catholic university and its tradition of welcoming students of other faiths, officials said. 'We purposely and intentionally recruit students of color, as well as those from diverse faiths and backgrounds,' said Jim Doyle, vice president of student affairs. 'Even though we're Catholic, religious pluralism is very much who we are.' 'Since the beginning, this school has always made a strong effort to reach out to Jewish students,' said Michelle Maer, executive director of Hillels Around Chicago. 'This is just one more example of that commitment.' The opening comes as some critics are calling on Catholic colleges and universities to strengthen their church affiliation. Too much diversity, they suggest, can erode a school's religious identity... In short, the campus looks a lot like Chicago--one reason it attracts some 2,000 Jewish undergraduate and graduate students, about 9 percent of enrollees. That's a larger segment than at many of the city's secular colleges, according to Maer, who oversees Hillel centers at seven Chicago-area campuses."