Building a relationship with Gonzaga

Over the past few weeks I’ve been meeting with local clergy, volunteers, activists and scholars in an effort to build relationships  with the community. Today was my first trip to Gonzaga University.

Not only did I walk away with a zillion story ideas, I also came away knowing about lots of experts that I can turn to as sources as well as names of potential Religion News Spokane bloggers (feel free to throw your name in the blogging hat, by the way).

Anyway, I knew from the get-go that I’d be covering lots of Gonzaga stuff. The obvious reason is because it’s a Jesuit institution and, duh, we cover religion news. A lot of people have admitted to me in recent weeks that they aren’t quite sure what a Jesuit is. I’ll explain. By definition, “Formally known as the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits were founded in 1540 by St. Ignatius Loyola, a Basque nobleman and soldier. They moved to the forefront of the Catholic Church in missionary work and have also been deeply involved in higher education and social service.” You can find the complete definition here, in the Religion Stylebook. But Gonzaga, which isn’t part of the Catholic Diocese of Spokane, isn’t exclusive to Catholics. Students of all faiths attend the school. Even students who are Atheist or Agnostic are Zags.

The staff at Gonzaga’s Department of Religious Studies is pretty diverse as well. In fact a Buddhist monk just joined the department. Very exciting!

Expect to see lots of Gonzaga stuff in the future!

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