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Lourdes University launches Faith Talks series

“Faith Talks: Feminine Models of Spirituality in Catholicism & Islam” will be presented on Sunday, Feb. 10, at 2 p.m at the Franciscan Center at Lourdes University in Sylvania.

The free event, sponsored by the university’s Office of Mission & Ministry, is part of a new series of Faith Talks.Speakers for the first one will be Phyllis H. Kaminski, Ph.D. and Fatima Agha Al-Hayani, Ph.D.

“Lourdes’ new Faith Talks series explores the ways that our beliefs and faith traditions shape us and impact our daily life,” explained Sr. Barbara Vano, OSF, director of Campus

Ministry, at Lourdes. “This first installment considers remarkable women in history of different faith traditions whose spirituality and stories have much to say to us today.”

Phyllis Kaminski is a professor of the Theological Department at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Ind. and is a well-known author of several articles and publications, including "What the Daughter Knows: Re-thinking Women’s Religious Experience with and against Luce Irigaray" in Encountering Transcendence: Contributions to a Theology of Christian Religious Experience. She holds membership in the American Academy of Religion, and the Catholic Theology Society of America.

Ms. Kaminski will discuss the spirituality of Therese of Lisieux and Jean Donovan. Despite living a relatively obscure life as a cloistered Carmelite nun, Therese of Liseux had a significant impact on Catholic spirituality. Canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1925, she was proclaimed to be Universal Patron of Missions in 1927, and named a Doctor of the Church in 1997. Jean Donovan received her MBA from Case Western Reserve University and volunteered for the Cleveland Diocese Youth Ministry before becoming a lay missionary in El Salvador. Known affectionately by the local children as “St. Jean the Playful,” she and three Sisters were murdered by National Guardsmen in El Salvador in 1980.

Fatima Agha Al-Hayani is a distinguished community leader and well known author. Ms. Al-Hayani’s publications include “Arabs and the American Legal System: Cultural and Political Ramifications” and “Science and Religion, Conflict or Concordance, Muslim Perspective.” She has presented on numerous topics pertaining to Islam at many universities across the United States and Canada.

Ms. Al-Hayani will highlight Zubayda al-Rashid and Rabi’a al’Adawiyyah. Zubayda al-Rashid, born in the latter part of the 8th Century, was a talented and well-educated leader in her time. The wife of the Caliph Harun Al-Rashid, she used her resources to support the advancement of literature and education. A woman of faith who made several pilgrimages to Mecca, she supported the building of roadways and hostels to facilitate travel for other pilgrims.

Author Margaret Smith describes Rabi’a Adawiyyah as “one of the greatest women saints in Islamic history.” Known for her teachings and poetry, she was a free slave who lived an ascetic life in Basra during the 8th Century.

For more information about Faith Talks, contact Sr. Barbara Vano, at 419-824-3861 or email

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