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A Pilgrimage to the Home of Liberal Religion

Tom rosiello Atención

By Jon Sievert

Visiting minister, the Rev. Tom Rosiello, describes his recent pilgrimage to Transylvania, a birthplace of Unitarianism and liberal religion, at this week’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Service.

UU Service
“A Pilgrimage to the Home
of Liberal Religion”
with Rev. Tom Rosiello
Sun, Jul 24, 10:30am
La Posada de la Aldea
Ancha de San Antonio 15

When you think of Transylvania, you probably don’t think about it as one of the earliest bastions of religious freedom and tolerance. But in 1568, the Edict of Torda, also known as the Patent of Toleration, one of the earliest proclamations of religious freedom in Christian Europe, was signed there by their Hungarian King John Sigismund, who himself became a Unitarian as this liberal movement spread throughout the country. Since then, these Hungarian Unitarians have survived harsh repression from the forces of the Counter-Reformation of the 17th century to the communist rulers of their recent past and have maintained their liberal faith tradition to this day with nearly 400 Unitarian churches in Transylvania.

This past April, Rev. Rosiello visited his home church’s partner church in Transylvania with 30 members of his parish, where they viewed the significant sites in the history of the Unitarian movement. In his sermon he will focus not only on this little known aspect of this part of the history of liberal religion, but also on the powerful spiritual experience of a religious pilgrimage.

The service will be enriched by piano music from one of the great composers who was part of this tradition. The Hungarian Unitarian Béla Bartók loved Transylvania and arranged many of its folk tunes for piano. Pianist Paula Peace will recreate his work.

Rev. Rosiello is the minister of the First Parish of Stow and Acton in Massachusetts and a frequent guest preacher here in San Miguel de Allende. He is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School and has served as an adjunct faculty member there, mentoring aspiring ministers during their internship. He also has served on the boards of many organizations, including the Unitarian Universalists Urban Ministry and Partakers (an interfaith prison ministry that assists inmates with earning a college degree while incarcerated), and has been active in numerous other social justice causes.

The UU Fellowship meets every Sunday at 10:30am at La Posada do Aldea, Ancha de San Antonio 15, and welcomes people of all ages, races, religions, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The room is wheelchair accessible. For more information, visit our website at


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