The University Series logo

Follow Us

SP-01 THEATRICAL STAGE PLAY: Journey Together from Story to Meditation

Find spirituality through the stories of New Testament characters. Join us for twelve inspiring stories, performed by an Archbishop emeritus, an Abby Prior, a priest and two deacons, an interfaith organizer, a seminary professor, a juvenile delinquent volunteer, and others. Due to the need for silence during this thoughtful performance, please no children under 12.

Mary Rose Betten/Cast - SP-01 - Thurs., March 2 - 7:30-9:00 pm - St. Maximilian Kolbe Hall

SP-04 Bishop Robert Barron: Can you really talk to God?

What does it mean to pray? How do we do it? Join Bishop Robert Barron in a walk through the meaning and gift of prayer. Learn how this conversation between friends enriches all that we do, fills our life with joy, and upholds us when we falter. Learn what the saints and mystics have always known and taught.

Bishop Robert Barron - SP-04 - Mon., April 3 - 7:30-9:00 pm - Our Lady of the Assumption Church

SP-06 Sacred Illuminations

Experience an unforgettable mystical multi-media evening of light and sound incorporating the photography and reflections of Sister Rose Marie Tulacz, SND. Experience the tenderness and caress of the Father’s love for you. Light a candle. Receive the Word. Be Still. Deepen Hope. Be Loved.

Sr. Rose Marie Tulacz - SP-06 - Tues., March 7 - 7:30-9:00 pm - St. Maximilian Kolbe Hall

SP-08 We Gather. We Pray. We Write.

Enjoy an evening of engaging stories written and read by members of the Padre Serra Writers group. Find out how they formed to write and share their stories, poems, and essays. Learn how their discussions give strength to one another’s spirituality. Should you start a writing group in your own parish?

Linda Lowe/Panel - SP-08 - Thurs., March 9 - 7:30-9:00 pm - Our Lady of the Assumption, Mulcahy Center

SP-10 Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee!

Jesus calls us to be joyful followers, and sacred moments in our daily life can lead to reduced levels of stress and increased psychological well-being. Let’s examine scientific studies behind this and focus on spiritual exercises that maximize happiness.

Paul Brogan - SP-10 - Tues., March 14 - 7:30-9:00 pm - St. Jude the Apostle Hall

SP-12 Hidden Graces: Meditations on God, Life, and a Very Special Boy

Special needs children are “professors of love,” teaching us what is eternally significant. Dr. Porter will offer personal reflections about his own special needs son, and Jean-Pierre De Caussade’s classic Abandonment to Divine Providence.

Dr. Ross Porter - SP-12 - Thurs., March 16 - 7:30-9:00 pm - Holy Cross Dining Room

SP-14 Lunchtime Food for Thought: Celtic Prayer: A Way of Be-ing

Ancient Christians experienced life and prayer together, with a profound sense of belonging. The wisdom, visual images, poetry, prayers and blessings of Celtic spirituality nourish our imagination and restore what we have neglected or forgotten. Discover how Irish Celtic prayers speak to our concerns and needs today.

Dr. Carol Quinlivan - SP-14 - Fri., March 17 - 12:15-1:45 pm - St. Mary Magdalen Hall

SP-16 Is Anger a Stumbling Block to My Faith?

We are all in this world for a purpose. However, anger – a normal, human emotion – can get in our way. Learn Mary’s model of faith to help you manage your anger and strengthen your faith in God.

Bennett Annan - SP-16 - Thurs., March 23 - 7:30-9:00 pm - St. Julie Billiart Hall

SP-18 Good Grief: Telling a Thousand Stories

It has been said that grief ends when a thousand stories are told. Because this life is filled with loss, grief is an essential part of healing and growing, and a virtue everyone needs to understand. Dr. Porter will address the “why” and the “how” of good grief.

Dr. Ross Porter - SP-18 - Tues., March 28 - 7:30-9:00 pm - St. Maximilian Kolbe Hall

SP-20 Other Religions: What Are Their Core Values?

People of six different faiths will talk about their basic beliefs while showing respect for the beliefs of others. Six panelists will be drawn from available representatives of Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Quaker, Bahai’, Muslim, Mormon, Hindu, and Pagan faiths. Ample time will be allowed for audience questions. Panelists are from the Ventura County Interfaith Community.

Linda Lowe/Panel - SP-20 - Thurs., March 30 - 7:30-9:00 pm - Padre Serra, Serra Center

SP-22 Lunchtime Food for Thought: Thomas Merton: What is It That Attracts So Many People?

Thomas Merton, a famous American monk and author, sought spiritual transformation through a life of deep contemplation. By engaging in contemplation – a sharing that deepens your connection to God and others – you can discover a sense of well-being and peace. Learn how.

Anne Vanoni - SP-22 - Fri., March 31 - 12:15-1:45 pm - St. Mary Magdalen Hall

SP-24 How Can We Be Happier? The Gospel of Happiness

Bestselling author and Loyola Marymount Professor Christopher Kaczor highlights seven ways that can lead to personal and spiritual transformation. Learn practical suggestions on how to become happier in everyday life and how to deepen your own Christian practice and to increase love of God and neighbor in new ways.

Dr. Christopher Kaczor - SP-24 - Tues., April 4 - 7:30-9:00 p.m. - St. Mel Auditorium

SP-26 Feminine Spirituality: A Contemplative Look

Masculine and Feminine Spirituality complement each other equally, mutually, reciprocally. They exist together within every soul and cannot be separated. Through the contemplative practice of Silence, both men and women can experience this integration and wholeness and help heal the brokenness in the world. There will be time for small group discussion and questions.

Alice MacDonald - SP-26 - Thurs., April 6 - 7:30-9:00 pm - St. Maximilian Kolbe Hall

SP-28 “Los Personajes de la Crucifixión”

Esta sesión incorpora la actuación y la oración. Inspirados por las meditaciones del Padre Miguel Carmona se presentan las actitudes humanas que descubrimos en la pasión de Cristo. ¿Con cuál de los personajes de la Pasión me identifico? ¿Qué papel represento en vida y cuál me gustaría desarrollar? ¿Vivimos la Semana Santa como meros espectadores o profundizamos en el misterio que encierra?

Los Trovadores de OLA - SP-28 - Jueves, el 6 de Abril - 7:30-9:00 p.m. - Our Lady of the Assumption, Mulcahy Center

SP-02 Building Immunity To Stress

The plain fact is that stress kills. It takes years off your life, prevents you from realizing your dreams, and robs you of joy. God gives us specific direction about how to move from stress to peace. Discover practical insights into the origins of stress and how you can build immunity to it..

Joe Sikorra - SP-02 - Thurs., March 2 - 7:30-9:00 pm - St. Jude the Apostle Halll

SP-05 Question and Answer Night with Fr. Patrick

There is no such thing as a bad question where faith is concerned. If it matters to you, it deserves answering. Fr. Patrick, a noted Scripture professor and pastor, will respond to all your questions, written anonymously at the beginning of the evening, to help you come to a deeper understanding of the beautiful faith we share as Catholics.

Fr. Patrick Mullen - SP-05 - Tues., April 4 - 7:30-9:00 pm - Padre Serra, Serra Center

SP-07 Why Doesn't God Answer My Prayers?

Sometimes we pray constantly, and yet God doesn’t answer our prayers. Are we praying wrong? Let’s look at different kinds of prayers in the Bible, and how Jesus talked about prayer. Learn about the Biblical foundation of prayer. Strengthen your own prayer experience.

Fr. Gregorio Hidalgo - SP-07 - Tues., March 21 - 7:30-9:00 pm - St. Maximilian Kolbe Hall

SP-09 Solitude: A Path to Holiness

Most people don’t like to be alone. Still, many inventions, literary works, musical masterpieces and heroic acts are attributed to those in solitary for extended periods. Let’s explore some of the spiritual benefits of solitude and discover practical ideas to help those who suffer loneliness due to life situations.

Fr. John Love - SP-09 - Mon., March 13 - 7:30-9:00 pm - San Buenaventura Mission, O'Brien Hall

SP-11 Godify

One of the biggest challenges followers of Christ face is to be IN THE WORLD but not OF THE WORLD. Learn some ways to GODIFY your everyday life, taking things that are of the world and transferring the presence of God into them. From media to fashion to sharing meals – discover new ways to live and share the Gospel in our world today.

Joe Melendrez - SP-11 - Wed., March 15 - 7:30-9:00 pm - Holy Cross Dining Room

SP-13 Be Still and Know That I Am God

Are you under intense stress? “Be still and know that I am God” is still God’s best advice – telling us to surrender to His will always, and especially in hard times. Faith is believing and trusting that He is constantly on our side. Do I panic in times of distress? How can I learn to trust and be still?

Bennett Annan - SP-13 - Thurs., March 16 - 7:30-9:00 pm - St. Maximilian Kolbe Hall

SP-15 Heaven: Reality or Imagination?

Who hasn’t wondered whether heaven truly exists? What tells us it exists? Why do we want it to exist? Drawing from several different sources, including noted author Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J., we will delve into the “unseen,” the “invisible” - the “promise of heaven.”

Jim Bullock - SP-15 - Tues., March 21 - 7:30-9:00 pm - St. Jude the Apostle Hall

SP-17 Lunchtime Food for Thought: Living in an Age of Unbelief

About 10% of Americans are former Catholics -- more than all American Jews, Muslims and Hindus combined. Why is that? Have you been touched personally by this growing demographic? What can we do about it?

Dr. Janice Daurio - SP-17 -Fri., March 24 - 12:15-1:45 p.m. - St. Mary Magdalen Hall

SP-19 Thou Shall Not Kill: A Mystery Writer Looks at Sin and Redemption

If murder is a sin, why are murder mysteries such a popular entertainment? Let’s look at murders in the Bible, the nature of evil, motivations behind killing, and what these mysteries teach us about the human condition, justice, family dynamics and making amends.

Sally Carpenter - SP-19 - Tues., March 28 - 7:30-9:00 pm - Holy Cross, Rms. 21 & 22

SP-21 Lunchtime Food for Thought: Aging with Grace: 21 Tips For a Youthful Old Age!

Scripture tells us that Jesus grew in wisdom, age and grace. So how might we do the same? We’ll talk about 21 practical tips to age with grace, too!

Sr. Gretchen Hailer - SP-21 - Fri., March 31 - 12:15-1:45 pm - St. Paschal Hall

SP-23 Keeping Sabbath: Finding Sacred Time in our 24/7 Connected Culture

Sabbath, or one day each week reserved for religious contemplation, offers an alternative to the great demands of modern culture that we allow to eat up our lives. Step off the treadmill of work and achievement, disengage from the consumer rat race – discover a path of holiness and spirituality. Rest your hearts and minds

Sr. Edith Prendergast - SP-23 - Tues., April 4 - 7:30-9:00 p.m. - St. Jude the Apostle Hall

SP-25 A Man's Way to God

In this interactive gathering, Fr. Jim Clarke will clarify what masculine spirituality looks like, offering some very practical guidelines for both men and women who would like to better understand men’s way to God.

Fr. Jim Clarke - SP-25 - Tues., April 4 - 7:30-9:00 pm - St. Maximilian Kolbe Hall

SP-27 ¿Por qué Dios no responde mis oraciones?

¿Por qué oramos? A veces oramos constantemente, y sin embargo, Dios no responde a nuestras oraciones. ¿Estamos orando mal? Vamos a hablar de diferentes tipos de oraciones y cómo Jesús hablaba de sí mismo la oración. La comparación de los ejemplos del Antiguo Testamento con los de las parábolas en el Nuevo Testamento, podemos aprender sobre el fundamento bíblico de la oración para fortalecer nuestra propia experiencia de oración.

Padre Gregorio Hidalgo - SP-27 - Jueves, el 23 de Marzo - 7:30-9:00 pm - Our Lady of the Assumption, Mulcahy Center