Meet the Chaplaincy Team
Salam Elmenyawi, hailing from Egypt, has served both McGill and Concordia as a Muslim chaplain for many years now. He is also president of the Muslim Council of Montreal, and is a very active advocate for student rights on campus and in the community.
- smenyawi [at] gmail [dot] com (E-mail Salam Elmenyawi)
Jill Foster is our Protestant Chaplain (Presbyterian, to be precise), and is also at the helm of various social justice projects. Jill studied history, philosophy, and theology. At the Chaplaincy, she offers a morning prayer breakfast, a dinner and small group Bible study, and always welcomes anyone who has something on their mind to come by for coffee and talk.
- jillf [at] magma [dot] ca ( E-mail Jill Foster)
Nathan Gibbard, as Director of the Newman Centre, is our link to all things Roman Catholic. Originally from Calgary, he has been in Montreal for a number of years working towards a PhD in Religious Studies at McGill. His academic interests include the study of the philosophy and practice of dialogue, inter-religious encounter, documents from the Holy See, and religion and popular culture. The Newman Centre is the home of Catholic spiritual and intellectual life at McGill. It offers a beautiful space for quiet study, for events like low-cost healthy lunches, retreats, and Mass, and also houses an intentional community.
- nathan [dot] gibbard [at] mcgill [dot] ca ( E-mail Nathan Gibbard)
Father Ihor Kutash is a pioneer of the McGill multi-faith Chaplaincy. He has been on the team since 1975. He has been part of McGill longer than that, having received his M.A. & Ph.D. from the Faculty of Religious Studies during the years 1970-1987. He is a priest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada and a professor of Eastern Christian theology and culture.
- kutash [at] unicorne [dot] org ( E-mail Father Kutash)
Zengetsu Myokyo Judith McLean is our Zen Buddhist monk. Myokyo holds Zen meditation sessions in the Birks Chapel in the fall and winter semesters, as well as at Enpuku-ji Zen Centre in the Plateau. Myokyo's Facebook page is “Enpuku-ji Zen” and the Zen Centre's website is enpuku-ji.org.
- myokyo [at] enpuku-ji [dot] org ( E-mail Myokyo)
Manjit Singh has been working at McGill as a volunteer chaplain for Sikh students since 1999. For several years, he served McGill Chaplaincy as its director, making McGill the first university in North America to hire a non-Christian Director of Chaplaincy. Manjit taught Intro to Sikhism in the Faculty of Religious Studies for the last ten years. He has an M.A. in History with specialization in Medieval India, the period during which Sikhism was born.
mcgillsikhstudentassociation [at] gmail [dot] com (Contact) the McGill Sikh Student Association.
- manjit [dot] singh [at] mcgill [dot] ca ( E-mail Manjit Singh)
Dr. Arvind Sharma, who has recently volunteered as Chaplaincy’s liaison for Hinduism, hails from India. He has been at McGill University since 1987. Dr. Sharma has been a regular participant in the meetings of the Parliament of World’s Religions and has been instrumental in convening two Global Conferences on World’s Religions After September 11 in Montreal in 2006 and 2011.
- arvind [dot] sharma [at] mcgill [dot] ca (E-mail Arvind Sharma)
Rabbi Ben Vago, our Hillel Jewish chaplain, serves as the Rabbi and Educator at Hillel Montreal, where he oversees religious life programming and teaches weekly classes on a variety of topics. Originally from New York, Rabbi Ben received his BA in political science from Yeshiva University, where he also completed graduate course work in Jewish philosophy, and recently received his MA in Jewish studies at Concordia University. Rabbi Ben was ordained by Yeshivat Chovevei Torah in New York City. Rabbi Ben is always available to talk; shoot him an ben [at] hillel [dot] ca (email) if you want to have coffee!
- ben [at] hillel [dot] ca ( E-mail Rabbi Vago)
Rabbi Shmuly Weiss is our Orthodox Jewish chaplain, and our link to Montreal’s Chabad House. He writes, “The Chabad Student Center of McGill University functions on two levels. We are a home away from home. We, at Chabad, are dedicated to the holistic well-being of each and every student and strive to be the nexus of their social, cultural, and religious needs. We offer students emotional security, spiritual growth, and personal guidance in a warm and nurturing environment. Furthermore, we empower students with the tools to engage in the higher education of Judaism. Students are able to explore and discover their heritage in an atmosphere of intellectual stimulation infused with Jewish values and traditions.”
- weissla [at] gmail [dot] com ( E-mail Rabbi Weiss)
Ecumenical (Christian - Anglican/United)
Rev. Neil Whitehouse, hailing from the UK, is the Associate Director of Chaplaincy, as well as McGill’s Ecumenical Chaplain, for the United Church of Canada and Anglican Church of Canada. Neil is happy to chat with students of all colours of the rainbow on any subject, personal, vocational, spiritual; he likes listening and getting you to ask questions. Features of Neil’s work are: Labyrinth walking – easy access meditation experiences, Bio-energetic exercises to combat stress and increase body awareness, the OIKOS Project exploring the connection between ecumenism, ecology, and economy, and the student group: Interfaith Forum-SSMU (iF?) which gathers individual students talking across different spiritual perspectives. Feel free to contact Neil to chat, by neil [dot] whitehouse [at] mcgill [dot] ca (email) or phone – he’s mostly on campus Monday-Wednesday.
- neil [dot] whitehouse [at] mcgill [dot] ca ( E-mail Neil Whitehouse)
Yellow Door Liason
Pietro Bozzo is our link to the Yellow Door Community Centre, sometimes dubbed "the YMCA of McGill." Talk to Pietro about student food resources, opportunities to volunteer with local seniors, an alcohol-free venue for emerging musicians, and various social justice initiatives. For more information, see Yellowdoor.org.
Misia Robins is one of our two liaisons to the Quaker community. Misia is a student at McGill, studying environmental science and geography. She appreciates extensive bike infrastructure and refurbished libraries. If you have Quaker ministry and counsel concerns, or any questions, send her an email and she will be happy to talk or hook you up with other Canadian Young Friends..
- artemisia [dot] robins [at] mail [dot] mcgill [dot] ca ( E-mail Misia Robins)
Anne Summerhays is our agnostic liaison. She graduated from McGill with a double major in Psychology and Sociology, and has been working studiously since then to figure out just how one can be expected to negotiate with profound uncertainty. If you want to talk about your experiences with agnosticism, send Anne an email and she'll be happy to meet up and chat. Unlike her Quaker brother, muffins aren't a crucial factor in the meeting spot, though potential sale of chocolatines wouldn't go unappreciated.
- anne [dot] summerhays [at] gmail [dot] com ( E-mail Anne Summerhays)
David Summerhays is our Quaker liaison. He graduated from McGill carrying a B.A. in history, with a concentration in colonialism. He organizes meditations in the Quaker tradition at McGill. He’s recently been teaching piano to pay his exorbitant muffin bills. He’d love to help connect some Quaker dots on and off campus. Not many people know about Quaker practices so he welcomes e-mails with any questions. If anything’s on your mind, David is available to talk anywhere muffins are for sale, as well as select other locations.
- david [dot] summerhays [at] mail [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (E-mail David Summerhays)