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The Interfaith Centre

COVID-19 update

With the health and safety of our students and employees top of mind, SAIT is following the Government of Alberta’s guidance specific to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please refer to the frequently asked questions at  sait.ca/covid19 for the most up-to-date information about your studies, and for the latest details on SAIT's pandemic preparedness measures.

 

The Interfaith Centre is a community hub on campus where inclusivity is standard, questions are always welcome, and the differences between people and cultures are explored and celebrated.

Interfaith Centre group meeting

We remain committed to supporting student success and our staff and chaplains are available to assist you via phone or email. If you need spiritual support, please contact a member of our team at one of the contacts listed below: 

Meet the Interfaith Centre team

Our chaplains serve on a volunteer, part-time basis and represent a variety of different faith communities.

Art Kung, Christian, University Campus Ministries

Art KungAs a SAIT alumnus, Art enjoyed a life of adventure in the air ambulance industry — bringing help and hope to some critical scenarios over the years.

His intense career experiences stirred in him difficult questions of life and death, meaning and purpose. Art says his journey has led him through a "theology of grace" into deeper spirituality, community and conviction.

What's a chaplain?

Oooo, great question. I feel it means different things to people. Some would look to us as pastors or priests with whom they can find likeminded community and spiritual guidance. Others are looking for a safe place to ask questions and gain perspective. Essentially, I guess we’re sounding boards — people who can speak encouragement and offer perspective.

Ask me about...

Anything! I absolutely love: hockey (sports in general, but come on, I'm Canadian), coffee (fresh, hand ground in my office or in my "second office", The Odyssey), technology (ask me about my watch), family (I'm blessed with the best wife and son in the history of the world), spirituality (meaning and purpose — for me, the answers are nestled deep in my own faith journey), food and culture, the list goes on.

What does interfaith mean to me?

To me, interfaith is about not merely tolerating different faiths or non-faith but finding ways to celebrate each other while recognizing the differences.

Contact

art.kung@sait.ca
403.542.0414
Monday to Friday, 9 am - 4 pm

Reverend Tim Nethercott, Christian (United Church)

Tim NethercottBefore becoming ordained in the United Church of Canada, Tim had careers in book publishing, teaching English and with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. Tim describes himself as a "religious mongrel," since he was raised in the Evangelical church and spent a number of years in the Roman Catholic world. Like many young people, he became "allergic" to his own faith tradition in his 20s and left the Church for several years. He practiced Buddhism for two years, then finally returned to his own religious tradition.

He was formed for ministry at Queens University in the Canadian tradition of the Social Gospel, which places a high value on the struggle for social justice. Tim is a vigorous LGBTQ advocate.

What's a chaplain?

A chaplain is a religious leader who works in a public institution rather than in a faith community like a church or a synagogue. Chaplains attempt to bring the spiritual wisdom of their faith tradition to the overall culture of the institution they serve and to individuals who seek them out for support.

Ask me about...

LGBTQ people and Christianity. The United Church of Canada, in which I am ordained, has been on the path of affirming sexual and gender minorities for over 30 years.

What does interfaith mean to me?

It means having the humility to learn from people of other traditions. I find that one of the best ways to learn about my own faith tradition is to interact with people of other traditions.

Contact

tim.nethercott@sait.ca
403.202.0180
Tuesdays, 1 - 3 pm

Reverend Cristino Bouvette, Roman Catholic

Cristino BouvetteWhat's a chaplain?

I'm still figuring that out! Although I’ve been a priest for seven years and have always remained connected with university students and young adults, I’m still learning about the best way to serve people at this stage of their life on and off campus.

Ask me about...

Food and climbing. I have a very large Italian family on my mother's side, so I basically grew up in a kitchen. In the last five years, I have discovered rock climbing and am a proud member of the Calgary Climbing Centre community.

What does interfaith mean to me?

The freedom to explore the meaning of life and who (if anyone) decided we should be here is the most enriching experience of being human. Faith traditions give us a way to consider these important topics, and when doing so side by side we learn to look and listen together.

Contact

403.463.2133
Thursday, 10 am - 4:30 pm

Imam Fayaz Tilly, Muslim (Sunni)

Fayaz TillyImam Fayaz Tilly attended the Institute of Higher Islamic Learning in Buffalo, New York, where he memorized the Holy Qur'an and acquired the knowledge of the basic Islamic sciences. Upon becoming a Hafiz (one who has successfully memorized the Qur'an), he enrolled in the seven-year course of Islamic Sciences at Darul-Uloom.

After completing his degree (masters equivalency) in 2002, he returned to Canada to serve the Muslim community of Calgary, Alberta. Imam Fayaz is the founder and director of Tahfeez-ul-Quran, a Quranic memorization program in Calgary.

Contact

Fayaz.tilly@sait.ca
403.681.7834
Mondays, 1 - 3 pm

Sarah Ward, Interfaith Centre Coordinator

Ask me about...

What I’m reading right now, how meditation has improved my life and how a non-religious person like myself came to be the Interfaith Centre coordinator.

What does interfaith mean to me?

It means helping students and staff thrive in an environment where people of all faith and non-faith traditions can come together and work towards creating a strong, supportive and diverse SAIT community.

Contact

sarah.ward@sait.ca
403.210.4358

Community spaces

Please note: All of our community spaces are currently unavailable for use or booking due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Everyone is welcome at the Interfaith Centre. We invite you to:

  • drop by the Interfaith Centre anytime for a chat — MB227, Stan Grad Centre, 9 am - 4 pm 
  • take a deep breath in our meditation space — MB314, Stan Grad Centre, 7 am - 7 pm 
  • host a group chat in our meeting space — MC311, Stan Grad Centre, 7 am - 7 pm  

Religious accommodations

Every member of the SAIT community — students, staff and faculty — has the opportunity to profess and practice their faith without fear of discrimination. 

If you need an accommodation for a religious observance, complete the request form a minimum of 10 days prior to the observance. Forms must be completed electronically and emailed to interfaith@sait.ca. Requests will be accommodated whenever possible. Students are required to make up missed work and meet all course requirements. 

If you're looking for accommodations for documented disabilities or health conditions contact  Accessibility Services.

Calendar of faith observances 

Please note, this list is not exhaustive — additional dates may be found on the Interfaith Calendar.

Eid-al-Adha* Islam July 30, 2020 (sunset) to Aug. 3, 2020
Rosh Hashanah Judaism Sept. 18, 2020 (sunset) to Sept. 20, 2020
Yom Kippur Judaism Sept. 27, 2020 (sunset) to Sept. 28, 2020
First Two Days of Sukkot Judaism Oct. 2, 2020 (sunset) to Oct. 4, 2020
Shemini Atzeret Judaism Oct. 9, 2020 (sunset) 
Simchat Torah Judaism  Oct. 10, 2020 (sunset) to Oct. 11, 2020 (nightfall)
Diwali ( Deepaval) Hindu Nov. 14, 2020
Hanukkah  Judaism Dec. 10, 2020 (sunset) to Dec. 18, 2020 (nightfall)
Christmas Christianity Dec. 25, 2020
Epiphany Christianity Jan. 6, 2021
Christmas (Orthodox) Christianity Jan. 7, 2021
Lunar New Year Buddhism Feb. 12, 2021
Ash Wednesday Christianity Feb. 17, 2021
Purim Judaism Feb 25, 2021 (sunset) to Feb. 26, 2021 (nightfall)
Norouz Baha’i/Zoroastrian March 20, 2021
First two days of Passover Judaism Mar. 27, 2021 (sunset) to April 4, 2021 (nightfall)
Maundy Thursday Christianity April 1, 2021
Good Friday Christianity April 30, 2021
Easter Christianity April 4, 2021
Holy Friday (Orthodox) Christianity April 30, 2021
Easter (Orthodox) Christianity May 2, 2021
Last two days of Passover Judaism Mar. 27, 2021 (sunset) to April 4, 2021 (nightfall)
Ramadan* Islam April 12, 2021 (sunset) to May 11, 2021
Shavuot Judaism May 16, 2021 (sunset) to May 18, 2021 (nightfall)
National Indigenous Peoples Day Indigenous June 21, 2021
Eid-al-Fitr* Islam May 12, 2021 (sunset) to May 13, 2021
*Some observances are based on the lunar calendar, and may vary by one or two days.

Memorial and grief support

Our interfaith chaplains work collaboratively within SAIT to provide support for staff and students dealing with the loss of a colleague or classmate. Contact the Interfaith Centre for more information.

Interfaith Centre student leaders

Our student leaders assist with the development and delivery of Interfaith Centre programming and events. Visit the  Co-Curricular Record directory on My Career Hub and search "Interfaith" to learn more about becoming an Interfaith Centre student leader.

Alefiya Mohammadi Sakir

Interfaith Student Leader AlefiyaAlefiya Mohammadi Sakir grew up in Gujarat, India where she had the opportunity to celebrate many different religious festivals. She was always interested in building design and architectural spaces. The name Alefiya is a Muslim name meaning ‘staircase which leads to heaven’ according to the Quran. Alefiya completed her bachelors degree in architecture at India’s Sadar Vallabhbhai Patel University. After getting married, she came to Calgary in 2018 and began the Architectural Technology diploma at SAIT in 2019. Alefiya loves to design homes and spaces that incorporate different styles of architecture. She also loves fabric painting and spending time with her family.

Kulvinderdip Kaur (Kulvin)

Interfaith Student Leader KulvinKulvinderdip Kaur (Kulvin) was born and raised in India’s Punjab region and holds a Bachelor’s degree from Panjab University, Chandigarh. Currently, she is pursuing Bachelor's in Applied Petroleum Engineering in SAIT’s MacPhail School of Energy as an international student. Kulvin is multi-lingual and can converse in Punjabi, Hindi, English and French (intermediate). She is keen to help others and is passionate about learning new things and the challenge of balancing work, studies, and co-curricular activities. She believes that anything can be achieved with hard work and believes the quote that 'God helps those who help themselves'. In her free time Kulvin loves to hang out with her friends, listen to music and upcycle used materials in creative ways.

Oluwabamise Onifade

Interfaith Student Leader OluwabamiseOluwabamise Onifade was born and raised in Nigeria. Oluwabamise has been helped by God, which is what his name means. Bamise is a New Media Production and Design diploma student at SAIT. Upon graduation he plans to start a business that works to make education available to every child, promotes gender equality, and raises awareness for mental health and cerebral palsy. He believes that we must create equal opportunities for every child regardless of their situation.

Being raised by the kindest parents on the planet, Bamise has surmounted many of life’s challenges and still believes that life is beautiful. Bamise is readily available for a chat and coffee (it is nicer if the coffee is free…lol); he will listen and with a beautiful smile on his face reassure you that the downfall of a person is not the end of their life. You can rise again.

What's on at the Interfaith Centre

Interfaith schedule of services

Weekly Activity Time/ location
Friday Online Jummah Prayers 2 pm / Facebook & Instagram
Peace, love and perogies

Come for the (FREE) perogies, stay for the (AWESOME) chaplains! Drop by and meet our diverse team of chaplains and student leaders. Check the events calendar for upcoming opportunities.

Communi-tea

Log-in and connect with our chaplains and student leaders for conversation, games and bring your own tea. Join our Facebook group for regular updates. See you online!

Community drum circle

Join us for a jolt of joy — beginners needed.

Not a drummer? No problem — we’ll teach you in three minutes. Don’t own a drum? No problem — we’ve got lots. Only have a few minutes? No problem — you’re welcome to come and go as you please.

The Drum Circle is not a performance group. It’s a fun, spontaneous group rhythm event using percussion instruments from around the world. Everyone is welcome and every gift of rhythm is valued.

Drumming is also good for you — group drumming has been shown to boost mood and lower blood pressure and heart rate. 

Book a drum circle for your event or class through interfaith@sait.ca or check the events calendar for upcoming opportunities. 

Speed faithing

Kick-start a classroom conversation about ethics, religion, diversity, cross cultural communication and more with help from one or all of our chaplains. Book a session for your class through interfaith@sait.ca.

Walk the labyrinth

Practice modern mindfulness using ancient-inspired exercise — book the labyrinth for your event or class through interfaith@sait.ca or check the events calendar for upcoming opportunities.

Connect with us

The SAIT Interfaith Facebook Group is your place to connect with students of all spiritual and faith traditions. Stay tuned for information on upcoming interfaith activities, interesting news, and opportunities to make friends and build community! 

Interfaith Facebook Group:

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