Davis Luanava, a member of the Hopi Native American tribe in northeastern Arizona, had the honor of closing USD’s 25th All Faith Service by delivering the prayer of intercession following a Kumeyaay Bird Song presentation by Kumeyaay native speaker Stan Rodriguez.

The Native American perspective, along with five other world religions, were welcomed in by USD and Monsignor Daniel J. Dillabough. The theme, “Reaching Beyond Ourselves: Flourishing Together in a Globalized World,” anchored the reflections’ focus.

“As USD moves into its future, celebrating religious diversity remains vital to fulfilling our mission as a contemporary and engaged Catholic university, today’s theme invites us to consider how the world’s religions offer us a connection to what lies beyond the here and now,” Msgr. Dillabough continued. “Each faith tradition is distinct and there are differences that are not easily overcome. But at their best, each offers an account of a life worth living, of wisdom and how to nurture altruism and encourage global solidarity.”

Indeed, Luanava’s joy from her participation, wasn’t an isolated experience. She was one of six USD students to contribute meaningfully to this traditional USD spring semester kickoff event.

Amina Yusuf ’18 gave the prayer of intercession following the Muslim Call to Prayer by Imam Taha Hassane. Allison Phillips ’21 spoke on behalf of the Buddhist religion after Diana Shimkus’ mindful message presentation; Meagan Wilkinson ’18 followed the Christian Reflection given by Dr. Miroslav Volf; Riya Pandit ’20 shared the prayer following a beautiful Hindu dance by Sri Rajesh Kumar Palai and Laboni Patnai, and Glenda Joffe delivered the Jewish prayer, preceded by USD School of Law Professor Richard Barton’s Jewish teaching.

As a first-year student and a first-time participant in the All Faith Service, Phillips enjoyed her experience. “This event is so necessary. The community needs to know how open we are,” Phillips said.

Yusuf, although a senior, also participated in her first All Faith Service, and also enjoyed it. Her prayer offered praise and with it, a call for social justice: “Merciful One, you created the heavens and the earth and everything in between; you are great beyond our imaginings, help us live more in your holiness and virtue, fighting racism, sexism and inequity wherever we encounter it.”

Full story at University of San Diego website.