header('Content-Type: text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1'); Retreats and Lectures | Audio Teachings with Murshida Nuria Stephanie Sabato
Heart with Wings

Sufism in Action

In the words of Hazrat Inayat Khan:
There are two distinct parts of one action. There is an action of our inner life and there is an action of our outer life, the inner being and the outer being. The outer being is a physical action and the inner being is our attitude. (Excerpt from Social Gathekas Nr. 15 The Law of Life: Inner Journey and Outer Action.)

We offer here a selection of community activities and personal pilgrimages in the spirit of living an inner life while giving expression to this inner life through the actions of outer life.

Index | List of Community Events

Click titles below to advance to a special event.
Events are listed chronologically.

2017 Peace Pilgrimage, Netherlands

The Peace Pilgrimage, September 11-14, 2017, included:

Day 1

The Peace Pilgrimage begins with the assembled spiritual leaders introducing themselves and sharing their life's journey with each other. Deepening collective thoughts of days ahead are shared. Lighting the Peace Torch from the Eternal Flame at the Peace Palace. Carrying the Peace Torch to the Soefi Centrum and lighting the Universal Worship altar candles representing the various world religions and all those unknown. The Hague, Netherlands. List of Spiritual Leader Here.

Day 2

Pilgrimage to Murad Hassil where the Peace Flame is brought to light Universal Worship altar candles. Spiritual leaders from around the world present their views on the subject, Virtues of the Heart – each as single drops of water yet pouring forth from the same love stream. The closeness and feeling of ecstatic closeness emerges throughout the day. Members of unify.org came offering social media support for the Peace Pledge Project. CLICK TO SUPPORT & SIGN THE PEACE PLEDGE

See the video below that unify.org gifted to the Peace Pledge initiative. Be sure to view until the end, and you will experience the joy and love of shared hearts and voices!

Day 3

The Peace Pilgrimage returns to The Soefi Centrum in The Hague. The candles are again lit on the Universal Worship altar. Videos are shared of various projects. After lunch the Pilgrimige convenes at the Peace Palace for organized panel discussions on the various topics. The evening concludes with dinner at the Peace Palace.

Day 4

The Peace Pilgrimage journeys to Murad Hassil for its final morning session to discuss outcomes and the future.

View video overview of the events here.

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Honoring Thy Mother, The Invincible Maggie Sabato, July 2, 2015

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April 22, 1929 - July 2, 2015
Written and Delivered by Joseph E. Gorski

I didn’t meet Maggie until 2003. As most of you know, Cecily and Stephanie started an organization that helps Tibetan refugees. I was volunteering at an event and Maggie struck up a conversation. She sprinkled in a few seemingly innocuous questions. “What do you do for a living?” “I’m an engineer” “What kind of TV shows do you watch?” “Well, I like the History channel.” “What would you be doing if you weren’t here on a Friday night?” “Well,” I told her honestly and with a bit of embarrassment, “I’d be doing laundry.” As it turns out, later than night, she took Stephanie aside and said, “What about that Joe. He seems nice..” To make a long story short, a subsequent interviews were scheduled and Stephanie and I were married a few months later. Maggie and I both loved telling others how she had picked me out for Stephanie. Similarly, when a former boyfriend of Cecily’s from many years before came around, She told me “I’m praying for Doug Lopez and Cecily.” So naturally, Doug shortly joined me as one of mom’s Sons in Love, as she called us. I can’t say there is anything of which I’m more proud than that Maggie Sabato thought I was good enough for one of her precious daughters.

Margaret Anne, as her family calls her, was born in Kansas City to Donnell Jackalone and Anne Pelligrino Jackalone. Her father Donnell Jackalone and grandfather, Marco Pelligrino, were builders – master architect and stonemason who were responsible for the design and construction of many Kansas City buildings in the 1920s and 30s. It seemed we couldn’t pass a building in the area without her telling me the history. From the Hall of Waters in Excelsior Springs to Paseo High School to the original stone work at the Rose Garden in Loose Park to this church – St. Peters, she loved to say “my dad and my grandfather built that.” So we greatly appreciate Father Cook and St. Peter’s for allowing us to have this service in this church that meant so much to her.

Margaret Anne’s father passed away when she was six and like many of us who lost our parents at an early age, this event shaped her life. She grew up watching her mother navigate the world as a single woman. I never met her mother Anne, from the stories I’ve heard, this is where Margaret Anne developed her independence, self-reliance, no-nonsense honesty and feistiness – and, of course, that STYLE. The last few weeks of Mom’s life, I was telling her about a series I was watching about the Roosevelts. I told her the story about someone who wrote to Franklin Roosevelt asking for a job for her son. The letter ended with something to the effect of “Mr. President, please let me know as soon as possible because if you are unable to help, I will need to ask Mrs. Roosevelt.” That’s right Mom said, if you want anything done, you’re going to end up talking to a woman.” Jackie, as her schoolmates called her, once described herself to me as the original juvenile delinquent. I understand Jackie had quite a bit of influence in the career change decisions and mental health issues for several nuns, but the details remain pretty murky. Like I said, I didn’t meet Mom until she was 70, so I can only imagine what Jackie Giacalone was like before age “mellowed” her! She graduated from Ursalin College and married Robert Sabato at Visitation Church. They had two daughters, Stephanie and Cecily. But shortly after Cecily’s birth, Mom found herself a single parent

Mom said there were two things she was interested in - she was devoted to her family and friends and her church and her faith. She was interested in fashion and finance. So, finding herself alone with two young girls, she took a job with Commerce Bank in the Trust department where she worked for 30 years. Maggie, as she was now called, was offered advancement. But as she told me, her children came first and she declined and had no regret. I do pity whoever thought they could supervise her – imagine having to come into work every day thinking you were going to tell Maggie Sabato what to do! Hope they had hazardous duty pay back then! Because of her shrewd investment strategy, she retired early from Commerce. Maggie didn’t think she was better than the lowest worker nor was she intimidated by bank vice presidents so she was friends with EVERYONE and EVERYONE came to her retirement party. She somehow talked the Commerce bigwigs into converting her pension into a lump sum payment, because, as she said, “I can invest it better than they can.” Which she did and was able to enjoy a better and longer retirement than the pension would have allowed her. She was always happy to give advice on how to save money and invest. She knew everything about stocks and bonds, timing and cycles, treasury notes, t-bills, auction dates, taxes and the rest. Anybody smart enough to listen could not have gotten better advice at any price.

After her retirement, Maggie began attending church daily and became a fixture at St Matthew’s where she met Father Lloyd Apoka for whom she developed great respect. We so appreciate Father Lloyd’s visits to Mom the last month to confer sacraments when she was unable to attend church.

She never missed any of Stephanie and Cecily’s events. I remember one of the Senior shows at the College, Stephanie’s female students were asking Maggie’s advice about fashion and her look – the lipstick, the earrings, the outfits. Imagine the sight! Half a dozen girls in their twenties circled around a woman in her eighties asking about how to put on makeup and wear clothes! And if you were having problems you could take great comfort when Maggie would say, “I’ve been praying for you” knowing her unshakeable faith in God and people gave her prayers great strength. And she knew everyone. No matter who you were, if you had relatives in Kansas City, she would get to the bottom of it and tell you how she knew your aunt or grandfather and they lived at such and such and dated so and so. Her memory was unbelievable. She knew everyone’s birthday, anniversary and could remember details about who was wearing what from events 20 years past. One of our blessings is that Mom never lost her mental sharpness.

One of my fondest memories was the three of them returning from a day shopping. They had about twelve outfits, half a dozen of the Sabato trademark earrings and everything looked perfectly matched and as if it came from trendiest and most expensive boutiques in Kansas City. But they proudly told me the grand total for everything was under $40. That’s an interest in fashion and finance! They got the tops at this thrift store, they got the earrings at this dollar store and the dresses at the Walgreens. Walgreens Pharmacy! Who buys dresses at Walgreens? We used to joke that they should have their own Reality TV show – Shopping with the Sabatos – how to look like a million for under $10. While the bargain tips would be nice, watching Mom and her two proteges talk and laugh with other customers, custodians, clerks and shopkeepers..that would have been the real life lesson.

One time I was shopping with Mom at home and garden store. Maggie said to the women in front of her “Oh, those are nice pots, I had something like that and I used it in some way.” “Oh, I’m going to do this”, and Mom said “oh, that’ll look nice.” Before I know it, we had checked out and all walked out together as if we had known each other all our lives.” Knowing mom has given me great courage. Now when I see someone checking out in line in front of me at the grocery store and notice something and say to myself, “I wonder if that’s any good?” I just ask the person “is that any good?” And before you know it, we are both acting like caring human beings instead of robots scurrying from place to place! We don’t end up hugging in the parking lot like mom would, but small steps…

When Maggie was nominated to be Kansas City Mother of the Year in 2014, I knew she was a shoe-in. Cecily and Stephanie got the word out to all the people mom had befriended and whose lives she touched. Like I told Mom, it turned out like a Pendergast election. Mom got something like 10 x the votes of the closest runner up. But the wonderful notes with stories like these from people around the country, around the world really, they were the real award. So touching and heartwarming. Of course, when she went on TV Fox 4, the hosts just loved her. She told everyone they were family because she watched them each day. But really, it was Maggie who could make you instantly feel like family. I used to tell her, she was called Mom by more people than any woman who doesn’t own a restaurant or sell spaghetti sauce.

The last story I told mom was about the passing of Franklin Roosevelt’s mother. The night of Roosevelt’s mother passing, a great oak tree that had been there as long as anyone could remember simply fell over. Scientists, as scientists do, said it was due to a small earthquake but nobody believed it. Neither did Maggie. So, we have lost one of our and Kansas City’s great oak trees. For some of you, Margaret Anne has always been there. Many of us have taken comfort in the shade and serenity of her great kindness, her generosity, her honesty, her humor, her stories, her wisdom. And we will miss that. Mom’s last couple of months were not easy. But even then, she got to know her care workers deeply and developed strong bonds with all of them. It just seems so remarkable to me that even people who knew her just this short time could be so dedicated to her and love her so dearly. In my life, in my life, I can’t think of anyone who better exemplifies what family and faith are about, how to treat people – from all walks of life, how to live a life with dignity and grace– and above all STYLE. As you go on through the rest of your life, she will be with you whenever you remember those examples of how to live that she has left you. And remember, she’s praying for you. Read Obituary.

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2015 Excellence in Engaging and Inspiring Students Award

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2014 National Archives Lecture

Kansas City (MO)…On Thursday, November 20 at 6:30 p.m., the National Archives will hosted Stephanie Nuria Sabato for a lecture titled Exquisite Design: Manifestos, Movements, Motivations. Sabato’s lecture coincided with the “Say it With Snap!” exhibit that was on display at the National Archives. Sabato's presentation begins with a seven-minute film of exquisitely composed images choreographed to music that will take us on a journey from 30,000 BCE up to the cusp of the Industrial Revolution. From that point we depart on another journey with Sabato, who takes us through a provocative array of images, manifestos, and design movements while leading us to present day. We disembark just after WW1 to take an up close look at Mather & Company motivational posters, featured in the current National Archives exhibition titled, "Say It With Snap!"

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2014 Pilgrimage to Northumbria, England

Pilgrimage to Northumberland UK, Summer 2014 We invite you to journey along with use to Northumberland, which is the northernmost county in North East England. It borders Cumbria to the west, County Durham to the south and Tyne and Wear to the southeast and the Scottish Borders council area to the north. Its North Sea coastline is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with a 64-mile (103 km) long distance path. Along the way, you will see Beadnell Beach, Seahouses, Bamburgh Castle, Holy Island, Hadrian’s Wall, Howell Hall and Garden, Dunstanburgh Castle, Willow Tea Room in Glasgow Scotland, Farne Island, Alnwick Garden and Castle, Coastal Walk to Dunstanburgh Castle, Beadnell Beach. To learn more visit: visitnorthumberland.com

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2013 Jamtse Tsokpa Foundation Holiday Party

Fundraiser to benefit exiled Tibetan Refugee living in India and Nepal.
Click to learn more about the Jamtse Tsokpa Foundation.

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Pilgrimage to Ireland, Autumn 2013
Photos by Joseph Gorski and Nuria Sabato

Some Thoughts on Spiritual Pilgrimage A pilgrimage is said to be a journey to a place. A journey is an act of traveling from one place to another. For one living a meditative life, the journey is a process of personal change and development, which may be challenging yet well worth traveling. In this sense every step and every turn in life is a pilgrimage. For those of us who live an active inner life, we may feel like a foreigner living in a mundane world. Yet another view is worth exploring, and that is that every little thing that we do, if we are mindful, can awaken the spiritual hidden yet veiled in the mundane. This process is well worth exploring for the one who journeys the path of life as a spiritual pilgrim.

We invite you on A Pilgrimage to Ireland chronicling a journey that my husband, Joseph Gorski, and I took through southern Ireland. We hope this little film choreographed to Irish music will give you a sense of Ireland's natural beauty and history.

Why a Pilgrimage to Ireland The pilgrimage arose from an inner call of Ireland. This call defied our logical and rationale minds – yet journey we did. We journeyed to Adare where we stayed at the Dunraven Arms Hotel. Adare is a petite agricultural village with farms filled with sheep and black and white spotted cows, a meandering river walk, a manor house and grounds, as well as a strip of lively pubs that were evening gathering places where local residents commingled and welcomed travelers such as us to share a pint of Guiness and a bit of food.

The Journey Joe and I journeyed each day either by exploring more deeply Adare itself or taking a pilgrimage to another place, which included: the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren National Park, the Bunratty Castle, the Ring of Kerry, Tipperary to see the Rock of Cashel – that reawakened long forgotten dream from decades ago – as well as the discovery of the Hore Abbey ruins that just the two of us discovered and were permitted to enter. The pilgrimage also included a journey to St. Mary's Cathedral and King John's Castle in Limerick, a city now famed by Pulitzer Prize author, Frank McCourt, who wrote Angela's Ashes.


A Personal Note on Being a Pilgrim From childhood I viewed life as a journey. My maternal and paternal great grandparents journeyed as pilgrims from Italy to the foreign land that would become the home for generations to come – America!

My maternal grandmother's maiden name is Pellegrino. The name Pellegrino comes from the Latin 'peregrin', which mean 'pilgrim' or 'foreigner'. This holds a special meaning for me.

In an outer sense it signifies belonging. Through the succession of generations, whether assuming other names through our fathers or through marriage, all my cousins and I are connected. We still call ourselves 'Pellegrino Cousins'. In the inner sense the meaning of the name gives context as I journey throughout the landscape of my life as a pilgrim.

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Morocco: The Exquisite & The Challenged
Presented by Murshida Nuria Stephanie Sabato

Title Screen: Click view individual movies
Professor Samira Hussein introducing Nuria

Moroccan students who attended thanked Nuria for the beautiful representation of their country, and said that the movies made them homesick!

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Donations are gratefully received and support these online classes in service to The Message. Click here to donate by check or credit card.
Donations are tax-deductible.


Patterns of Turkey: Form, Structure and Meaning
Presented by Khalifa KarimaGita Erickson-Harper

Historical context of the visual language and symbolism in Turkish
architecture and textiles for Tactile Turkey, an educational event held in association with the University of Kansas Lied Center Caravanserai Project.

Click to View List of Resources

The dome is not just a way to cover the walls. It is the image of the vault of heaven and beyond it of the infinite and illimitable world of the Spirit of which the sphere or circle is the most direct geometric symbol. Quote: Sense of Unity, Nader Ardalan and Laleh Bakhtier

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Donations are gratefully received and support these online classes in service to The Message. Click here to donate by check or credit card.
Donations are tax-deductible.


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Globalized Soul Film and Discussion -September 2013

Filmmaker Cynthia Lukus, Prof. Stephanie Nuria Sabato, Rev. Stephen McArthur, Prof. Samira Hussein

Click to View Globalized Soul Film Trailer (3:48)
Consider hosting Cynthia in your community. The film and discussion was a meaningful event for the college and our city.Cynthia Lukas, Stephanie Nuria Sabato, Steve McArthur, Samira HusseinMurshida Nuira Offered a Prayer by the Great Saint Shantideva titled,
The Far-Reaching Thought of the Awakened Heart. (read below)
Cynthia Lukus and Stephanie Sabato Cynthia Lukas and Stephanie Sabato
The Far-Reaching Thought of Bodhicitta (Awakened Heart)

May I become food and drink in the aeons of famine for those
poverty-stricken suffers.

May I be a doctor, medicine and nurse for all sick beings in the
world until everyone is cured.

May I become never-ending wish-fulfilling treasures materialising
in front of each of them as all the enjoyments they need.

May I be a guide for those who do not have a guide, a leader
for those who journey, a boat for those who want to cross over,
and all sorts of ships, bridges, beautiful parks for those who
desire them, and light for those who need light.

And may I become beds for those who need a rest, and a
servant to all who need servants.

May I also become the basic conditions for all sentient beings,
such as earth or even the sky, which is indestructible.

May I always be the living conditions for all sentient beings
until all sentient beings are enlightened.

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