Loyola Institute of Ministry series takes spirituality out to lunch


When corporate worker Alan Wolf realized his fellow office workers didn’t have anything to do during their lunchtime, he decided to bring spirituality to the table.

The Spirituality in the City series works in conjunction with Loyola Institute for Ministry to provide a place where people of all faiths can gather for an ecumenical conversation.

“The Central Business District has thousands of office workers with nothing to do at lunchtime,” Wolf said.

Wolf drew inspiration from the New York and Chicago areas, which offer events similar to the series during this time.

He sees the series as an opportunity to bring together people of all denominations to start a conversation about faith in New Orleans.

Kathy Kraft, a graduate student within the Loyola Insitute for Ministry, has been attending all of the talks for the past two years.

“I have seen all kinds of people speak about their faith and their faith traditions. It has been as interesting to meet them as it has been to hear about how faith touches their work, their background or is a part of their lives,” Kraft said.

Loyola Institute for Ministry director Thomas Ryan describes the series, also known as First Tuesdays, as an important tool for interreligious dialogue to flourish.

“If people in different religions can understand each other, then they can appreciate their faith traditions,” Ryan said.

Ryan said that this series continues the tradition of inviting people of all faiths in to discuss religion and spirituality in New Orleans.

In the past, people of all religions have spoken in the series.

“We have had Muslim, Jewish as well as Christian speakers,” Ryan said.

On Tuesday, March 11, Rafeeq NuMan is scheduled to speak at the Spirituality in the City speaker series, hosted by the Loyola Insititute for Ministry.

NuMan will be giving a talk titled “An African American’s Journey to Islam.” NuMan will incorporate the intersection of race and religion into his talk.

NuMan will speak Tuesday, March 11 at 12:30 p.m. in Lenses Hall, 130 Baronne St. at the parish center of Jesuit Church.

Lauren Saizan may be reached at [email protected]