Visiting Muslim chaplain holds informal retreat about early religious memories, names

By Jessica Scarmack

The last part of a several-day visit, for Thiel College’s Interfaith Series, by Fardosa Hassan, the Muslim chaplain at Augsburg College, was an informal retreat on Sunday, Sept. 30.

During the fsession’s first part, participants explored the meaning of their name by thinking about who gave them that name, what the name means, and what religious or spiritual role names have.

Pastor Jayne Marie Thompson started the discussion by explaining that her middle name is very common and that the way her first name is spelled takes to the meaning of gift from God. On the other hand, Fardosa Hassan means the beauty of the world and beautiful, respectively.

Hassan said, “In Islam we’re highly encouraged to keep our family’s name because it’s part of your lineage and who you are.”

The session’s second part explored the first memories of being part of any type of religion. Thompson was baptized Lutheran and can remember the moment she wanted to be an acolyte. She later became the first female acolyte at her church. Hassan’s earliest memory of religion was coming to the United States and having to wear the hijab.

At the end of the retreat, attendees were given the task to break up into groups and write down what they would like to see on campus as well as what we would like to do to improve it.

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