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First Tuesdays

Spirituality in the City Speaker Series

People of all faiths (or none at all) are warmly invited to this annual interfaith series that promotes dialogue, mutual understanding, and collaboration on topics of spirituality. On first Tuesdays, October through May, local leaders initiate conversations about their spiritual traditions and address the theme, “Spirituality in the City."

First Tuesdays is co-sponsored by The Jesuit Church of the Immaculate Conception, Loyola Institute for Ministry, The Catholic Book Store, and Holy Name of Jesus Church. It is guided by an interreligious steering committee.  All presentations begin at 12:30 in Lenes Hall, 130 Baronne Street, the parish center of Jesuit Church, and include a simple lunch that starts at 12:15. All are welcome. Admission is free. Parking is available at parking meters on the street as well as at the many downtown lots and garages. 

Past Speakers


January 3
Fr. Bill Terry, Rector, St. Anna's Episcopal Church New Orleans 
"Blast from the Past: A 'Relevant' Church in an Historically Traditional Model"

February 7,
Yumi Mano is a Conference Interpreter for Japanese and English speakers, has been a Nichiren Buddhist for the past 37 years, and, within SGI, serves as a Team Region representative.  
Maile Zox is an artist and has been a member of SGI for more than 20 years. She holds the position of Vice Region leader for South Central Region in SGI.  Nichiren Buddhism was established in 13th-century Japan, is based on the Lotus Sutra, and is practiced worldwide by members of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI).  
"The Wisdom of Soka Gakkai Nichiren Buddhism," a Form of Japanese Buddhism

March 7
Rabbi Alexis Pinsky, Congregation Gates of Prayer in Metairie
"Don't Hide Your Face: God as Concealed and Revealed"

April 4
Norman Robinson, Former anchor WDSU-TV New Orleans, former reporter for CBS Network News in New York and Washington, D.C., and Deacon, Central St. Matthew United Church of Christ. 
"Who are you? And How Does that Influence Your Humanity?"

May 2
Fr. Frank Reale, S.J., Pastor Jesuit Church of the Immaculate Conception, New Orleans 


October 6 
Vicki Judice, Executive Director Harry Tompson Center for the Homeless
“Good News from the Gutter” 

November 3
Michael Cowan, Professor Loyola Institute for Ministry of Loyola University New Orleans and civic leader
“A Practical Spirituality of Civic Life.”  

December 1
Charlotte Klasson and Beth Deitch, New Orleans Secular Humanist Association
"Humanism: Ethical, Secular and Good for Everyone" 

January 5
Imam Mahmoud Khalifa, Masjid al-Tawbah, Westbank Muslim Association
“What Does Islam Really Teach?" 

February 2
Rabbi Edward Cohn, Temple Sinai  
 “A Spirituality of Aging—An Evaluation" 

March 1
Jim Kelly, Executive Director of Covenant House New Orleans
“The Spirituality of Covenant House Youth" 

April 5
Emrah Aktepe, Executive Director of the Atlas Foundation  
“Antidote to Extremism: Dialogue in Islam" 

May 3
Anne Levy, Holocaust survivor
"Reflections in Anticipation of Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day"


October 7
Tom Ryan, Professor of Theology and Ministry and Director of the Loyola Institute for Ministry, Loyola University New Orleans
"Spirituality and Its Bewildering Varieties: A Field Guide and Suggestions" 

November 4
David Crosby, Pas
"Your Pain Is Changing You"

December 2
William Thiele, Pastor of Parker United Methodist Church and Founding Director of the School for Contemplative Living, New Orleans and author of Monks in the World: Seeking God in a Frantic Culture 
"Seeking God in a Frantic World"

January 6
Donald Frampton, Senior Pastor at St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church
"Holy Play" (January 6th is the traditional start of Carnival Season, which provides the context for the presentation.)

February 3
Martha Orphe, Pastor of First Street Peck Wesley United Methodist Church
"What Does God Require?"

March 3
Naomi Yavneh Klos, Professor and Director of the University Honors Program, Loyola University New Orleans
Member, Touro Synagogue
"A Jew for (and with) the Jesuits"

April 7
Norris Henderson, Director of Voice of the Ex-Offender

May 5


October 1
Kara French and Clemmie Greenlee, Eden House, a two-year residential program for women who have been commercially and sexually exploited 
"Love and Life After Human Trafficking" 

November 5
Adil Khan, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies, Loyola University New Orleans
"The Muslims around You"

December 3
Rabbi Ethan Linden, Shir Chadash Conservative Congregation
"Hanukah: Myth, History and the Light of Faith"

January 7
Carlos Miguel Prieto, Music Director and Principal Conductor, Louisiana Philharmonic, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Mexico, Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería, and YOA Orchestra of the Americas
"Conducting and Spirituality"

February 4
Martin Gutierrez, Vice President or Community Services at Catholic Charities New Orleans
“Many Faces in God’s House”

March 11
Imam Rafeeq NuMan, Masjid ur-Rahim, New Orleans
"An African American's Journey to Islam"

April 1
Bob Marshall, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist with The Lens:
"Having Faith in Nature"

May 6
Tania Tetlow, Felder-Fayard Associate Professor at Tulane Law School and Director of the Domestic Violence Clinic
"The Spirituality of Survival: Working with Domestic Violence"


October 2
Gregory Stock, State President, New Orleans Church of the Latter Day Saint
"Mormon Spirituality"

November 6
John Besh, Chef and owner of the Besh Restaurant Group
"Food, Family and Faith"

December 4
Jamie Marx, Cantor at Touro Synagogue
"Singing a New Song Unto God"

January 8
Deanna Vandiver, Unitarian Universalist Minister and Director of the Center for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal
"Being Beloved Community: The Spirituality of Justice and Joy"

February 5
Keith Mozingo, Pastor, Metropolitan Community Church, Baton Rouge
"A Place at the Table"

March 5
John Barry, Tulane professor and author of Rising Tide, The Great Influenza, and Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul: Church, State and Birth of Liberty
"The Creation of the American Soul: Church, State, and the Birth of Liberty"

April 2
Philip and Ellen Frohnmayer, Phillip is Professor of Voice and Coordinator of Vocal Activities; Ellen is Associate Professor of Voice.  Both are accomplished performers and recording artists.
"'Anoint our lips to sing Your praise':  the Spiritual Battle"

May 7

Jason Berry, author of fiction and non-fiction including Up From the Cradle of Jazz, Lead Us Not Into Temptation, Vows of Silence, Earl Long in Purgatory: A Play, and Render Unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church 
"Keeping Faith in an Age of Scandal"


October 4
Leah Chase, Chef/Owner Dooky Chase Restaurant
"I Just Pray and Keep Going"

November 1
Rabbi Uri Topolosky, Beth Israel Synagogue
"This IS the Better World: The Universal Spiritual Message of Genesis 1-11"

December 6
Nolan Rollins, President and CEO, Urban League of Greater New Orleans 
“Spirituality Through the Books that Guide Our Lives (the Bible, the Torah, the Quran)”

January 3
Ghazala Khan, Physics Teacher, Mt. Carmel Academy
"Islam: A Woman's and Mother's Perspective"

February 7
Aaron Spevack, Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies, Loyola University New Orleans, and convert to Islam
"My Journey to Islam"

March 6
Thich Nu Thanh Trang, Presiding Nun, Van Hanh Buddhist Center New Orleans
"Being Buddhist in New Orleans”
April 3
Right Reverend Morris Thompson, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana
"Spirituality: Born through the Community"

May 1
Sr. Mary Lou Specha, PBVM, Former Director of Café Reconcile
"Taking it to the Streets...Peace is POSSIBLE in New Orleans!"