Peace Talks promote tolerance, understanding

Jill Barrile photo: Betty Amatangelo, a new face in Campus Ministry, heads up the Peace Talks.Jill Barrile photo: Betty Amatangelo, a new face in Campus Ministry, heads up the Peace Talks.With outbreaks of war occurring constantly around the world due to religion, Mercyhurst College’s Campus Ministry is reaching out to promote tolerance and coexistence throughout the campus’s diverse religious backgrounds through events called Peace Talks.

“Peace Talk events will include information sessions on particular traditions, faith-based discussions, general meditations and celebrations of other religions including holidays and holy days,” Jennifer Detchon said.

With new additions and new ideas, Campus Ministry is working to incorporate all religions. Headed by Director Greg Baker, Assistant Director Christine Brotherson and Fr. Jim Piszker, Campus Ministry offers many activities for students to attend.

A new addition to the Campus Ministry team, Betty Amatangelo, is very excited about the ideas that the team is currently working to put in place, such as the Peace Talks.

“Peace Talks” are meetings where members of every religion are welcome to discuss their individual journeys through faith.

Mercyhurst student Detchon had the idea to have these discussions on campus.

The main goal of these Peace Talk meetings, according to Detchon, is to “help students of all beliefs feel more spiritually welcome in the Mercyhurst community.”

Campus Ministry also sponsors many events, which are always welcoming to every religion. Along with worship services, members of the group meet for lunch in Egan Cafeteria every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

There is also a women’s group that meets each Thursday at 8 p.m. in the Campus Ministry lounge, along with alternative breaks and immersion trips.

Amatangelo said that Campus Ministry wants everyone “to feel welcome and free to relax, study, talk or offer ideas to create community building programs and to enrich student life here on campus.”

Amatangelo is very enthusiastic about the upcoming Peace Talks.
“As Mercyhurst continues attracting people with different geographical, political and religious ideas, we need to continue to attempt to meet their needs in these areas,” she said.

Some may believe that tolerance of other religions on a Catholic campus reduces our vision as a Christian school, but Amatangelo believes otherwise.

“Hospitality, tolerance and non-violence all come from the Mercy Mission statement. Historically, this type of gathering is the foundation of our Catholic identity,” she said.

The next Peace Talk will be held on Sunday, Feb. 6, at 4 p.m. in the Campus Ministry lounge — located on the main floor of the Student Union.