Updates from the Center for Christian Spirituality at USD
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Fall Newsletter 2014
Dear Friends,
“What is the point of being a Christian?” 
So asks Dominican priest, Timothy Radcliffe in the title of one of his many award winning books.  The world is bleak with crises, violence, and poverty; it’s natural for anyone to wonder what the point is of any religious belief, prayer, or devotion. But instead of hearing this question asked with antagonism or even despair, Fr. Radcliffe helped me to hear it as a gentle invitation.  It is a question that is both necessary and good - one that can invite us deeper into the heart of God....if we let it.

Fr. Radcliffe writes in the book and preaches all over the world that the point of Christianity is to point to God as the meaning of our lives. To live is to be invited into a sharing of God’s freedom and God’s very life.  This doesn’t mean that Christians are immune to sickness or free from pain.  In fact, following Jesus often means intentionally stepping into places where suffering and brokenness abound.  Nor does it mean Christians have some sort of moral superiority over everyone else.  Fr. Radcliffe reminds us that ‘the Church is a home for everyone, especially those whose lives are a mess.'

What is does mean to embrace the freedom and life that God intends for us is to believe our lives do ultimately have meaning.  In the face of senseless violence, hatred and injustice, the Christian response is one of a profound sense of hope.  To be truly hopeful takes courage.  It also requires a profound transformation that calls us out of isolation and into a community of truth.

We are pleased to welcome Fr. Radcliffe to USD next month to offer insight on how to move more towards the courage, hope and freedom that is to be found in God.  I am delighted to begin working with the Center and learn more about the ways it can serve as a resource for spiritual growth and continued transformation.  My hope and prayer is that Fr. Radcliffe’s visit, as well as the upcoming events, will offer support and encouragement to you wherever you find yourself on your own spiritual journey.

“The challenge [of Christianity] is to touch our imagination with the great adventure of becoming alive in God.”   -  Timothy Radcliffe, OP

Center for Christian Spirituality
Religious of the Sacred Heart Lecture
Frances G. Harpst Center for Catholic Thought and Culture
2014 Switgall Lecture

"How Does God Dwell in Our Love of Each Other"
Timothy Radcliffe, OP

Monday, September 29, 7pm, Shiley Theater
General Admission: $10
Students, Faculty/Staff free with USD ID
To register online:

Timothy Radcliffe, a Roman Catholic priest and member of the Dominican order is an itinerant preacher and lecturer based at Blackfriars, Oxford.
He was former master of the worldwide Dominican order and professor at Oxford University and has also been active in the peace movement, ministry to people with AIDS, and advocacy for human rights. He spends most of his year giving retreats, lectures and conference keynote addresses in the UK and overseas.  All over the world, he is well known for his approachable language, depth of thinking, and great sense of humor.  His writings and lectures stretch minds and warm hearts as he offers guidance and encouragement along the journey of orienting one’s life toward God.  He is a gifted presenter and his words have inspired people in hundreds of countries.

Through the lens of the Catholic faith, Fr. Radcliffe explains how Christianity is an invitation to a particular freedom and happiness - the happiness that is God being God.  All Christians claim that God is love.  We know that our love of each other is human, but we can undervalue how it is also a sharing in the life of God.  Along with Pope Francis, Fr. Radcliffe resists the culture of individualism and assures us that by stretching ourselves open to love others, we share in the life and love that is God.  He will offer practical insight and wisdom into becoming more alive by discovering how to love well.
Upcoming Events:
“The Spirituality of Leadership: Franciscan Models of Leading with the Heart”

Darlene Pryds
Associate Professor of Christian Spirituality and History at the Franciscan School of Theology

Tuesday October 14, 7pm, Salomon Hall
Free of cost

Pope Francis follows in a very long tradition of men and women who have guided and inspired others in faith. This presentation explores how Franciscan Spirituality, focused on the incarnation and respect for all of creation, including a mutual respect among people, has inspired important leaders--both men and women--to influence, teach, and lead from the heart. Come learn some tips on heart-based leadership.

Darleen Pryds is Associate Professor of Christian Spirituality and History at the Franciscan School of Theology, now in curricular affiliation with the University of San Diego. Her research interests include the history of Lay Preaching and Women's Leadership in the Franciscan tradition. In her spare time she is a volunteer at Zen Hospice Project and is an ardent hiker.
“Contemplation and The Cloud of Unknowing: Mediation in the Christian Tradition”

William Meninger, OCSO
Trappist monk and teacher of Centering Prayer

Wednesday, November 19, 7pm, Founders Chapel
Free of cost

When Father William Meninger encountered a dusty little book in the abbey library called The Cloud of Unknowing, he was delighted at what he discovered.  The anonymous 14th century book presented contemplative meditation as a teachable, spiritual process enabling the ordinary person to enter and receive a direct experience of union with God.  Written by a monk with practical advice for ordinary people, this spiritual classic maintains its relevance for anyone seeking to learn more about meditation and prayer.  Consider joining us afterwards for Mass for Peace in Founders Chapel at 9pm.

Father Meninger is a Trappist monk and retreat master at St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado.  He takes a limited time each year from his silent monastic life to travel the world and teach contemplative prayer.  His book, The Loving Search For God is an effort to bring the message of The Cloud of Unknowing to men and women of the 21st Century.  He is also known for his books on forgiveness and the Enneagram.
To register for any of our events click here
Introducing the New Director:

Erin Bishop joins the Center for Christian Spirituality after serving five years with University Ministry at USD where she worked with Romero Immersion Programs, service programs in Tijuana, retreats, liturgical celebrations, and spiritual direction. Before coming to USD, Erin deepened her commitment to Christian ministry as a bilingual hospital chaplain at Children’s Hospital in Oakland and a Jesuit Volunteer in Camden, New Jersey.

Erin received her Masters in Divinity from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley and a B.S. in Psychology from Santa Clara University.  She is a San Diego native and parishioner at St. Didacus in Normal Heights, where she was baptized and attended parochial school.
Get Involved!
Have an idea for a speaker or event? We welcome your suggestions on topics of importance to you, topics pertaining to the spiritual development of peoples and that meet the mission of the Center. We seek to program for the spiritual journey based on the needs and desires of our community at large.
Hospitality Volunteers:  If you are planning on coming to an event and would like to help offer hospitality, we are always in need of a few volunteers.  Please contact Sandee Gutiérrez

Help us grow
The Center for Christian Spirituality is partially funded by an endowment established by the Society of the Sacred Heart.  If you, or someone you know, would like to contribute financially to our work and mission, please contact Erin Bishop
Our mailing address is:
5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492

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