Sixth graders spent Wednesday visiting different places of worship around St. Louis as part of a world religions field trip.
The students began at Temple Emanuel and heard from a Jewish Rabbi, who explained the traditions of Judaism and also showed the students the Torah, the central reference of Judaism.
From there the students stopped at the Hindu Temple of Saint Louis. This temple featured hand-carved statues and features depicting different Hindu gods and goddesses. The speaker here explained that Hindus believe in reincarnation and karma and they were able to hear a monk pray in Sanskrit.
Their third stop was the Islamic Foundation of Saint Louis. Students heard from a Muslim speaker who explained the traditions of Islam, how it’s the second largest religion in the world, and who also pointed out that not everything you hear about Muslims is true. The students moved into the Mosque and the speaker answered their questions.
The final stop for the 6th graders was Saint Francis Xavier College Church on the SLU campus. The students split into groups and were guided by five Catholic parishioners who pointed out many historical features of the church and explained the purpose of various areas in the church.
“The trip provided a great learning experience for our 6th grade students to learn about the many different faiths within our world,” said Mark Duvall, 6th grade dean and history teacher. “Our hope is that these experiences will strengthen our student’s ability to understand and respect different cultures and belief systems. It was especially exciting to see students explain their own faith to fellow 6th graders at a particular place of worship.”
The field trip complements religious speaker events throughout the trimester, featuring the same Jewish Rabbi, a Buddhist nun, a Hindu speaker, a Catholic bible study teacher, and a Muslim speaker (after Spring Break). Many of these speakers are relatives and friends of current 6th graders.