USF Hosts a Free Interfaith Lecture featuring Rt. Rev. William E. Swing

Initiating interfaith public dialogue

SAN FRANCISCO (Feb. 6, 2013)

The XXXIII Paul Wattson Christian Unity Lecture will be held at the University of San Francisco (USF) on Mon., Feb. 25, at 5 p.m. The Right Reverend William E. Swing, a retired bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California, will give a lecture entitled Laboring in the Soil of Interfaith: Searching for the Soul of Interfaith. The lecture is free and open to the public, and will be held in the McLaren Conference Center on USF's main campus (2130 Fulton Street in San Francisco).

Rt. Rev. Swing is the president and founder of the United Religions Initiative (URI), a global network that aims at "connecting people across religions and cultures in the service of peace and justice." He first envisioned the URI in 1993, when the he was invited by the United Nations to host an interfaith service honoring the 50th anniversary of the signing of the UN Charter.

While serving as the Episcopal Bishop of California from 1980 until his retirement in 2006, Rt. Rev. Swing was a national and international leader in response to the AIDS crisis, co-founded Episcopal Community Services to address San Francisco's homeless problem, and co-founded Community Bank of the Bay to support local businesses and the economy.

The Paul Wattson Christian Unity Lectures honor the memory of the Reverend Paul James Francis Wattson, S.A. (1863-1940), founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement and pioneer for the cause of Christian Unity. The lectures annually feature national and international leaders in the fields of ecumenism and interreligious dialogue who speak on current topics of interest.

For more than 100 years, the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement have worked for Christian unity and interreligious understanding. Today, the friars' mission of atonement includes dialogue among Christians, Muslims, and Jews; serving the homeless and those suffering from alcoholism, drug addictions, and HIV/AIDS; and offering respite for those in need of spiritual renewal.

About the University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco is located in the heart of one of the world's most innovative and diverse cities and is home to a vibrant academic community of students and faculty who achieve excellence in their fields. Its diverse student body enjoys direct access to faculty, small classes, and outstanding opportunities in the city itself. USF is San Francisco's first university, and its Jesuit Catholic mission helps ignite a student's passion for social justice and a desire to "Change the World from Here."  For more information, please visit

To request media interviews with the Right Reverend William E. Swing, please contact Anne-Marie Devine, senior director of media relations at USF, at 415.422.2697 or