My Muslim and Jewish Friends

by Sister Julie Ann on October 24, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI in a past Meeting with Representatives of Some Muslim Communities invited Christians and Muslims to be “dear and esteemed friends” who 48441.jpgare able to “face together the many challenges of our time… The lessons of the past must help us to avoid repeating the same mistakes. We must seek paths of reconciliation and learn to live with respect for each other’s identity.” St. Francis, too, mirrors this interpersonal kind of peacemaking in his friendship with the Sultan.

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity, Sister Judanne Stratman, OSF, reviews My 48573.jpgJewish Friend by Celia Sirois, Pauline Book &Media 2008 and My Muslim Friend by Donna Jean Kemmetmueller, FSP, Pauline Books & Media, 2006 in a recent Momentum September/October 2008 edition, NCEA publication.

These two attractive books give basic introductions to Islam and Judaism for the young and not-so-young Catholic…The church is the vine with roots in Judaism and side branches that enhance its growth and fruitfulness. img_4736_1835.jpgWhile students are preparing for confirmation, they are becoming aware of the need to build community in their neighborhoods, villages and towns. Globally, they become attentive to justice and peace initiatives…These two short books encourage openness to Islam, Judaism and Catholicism. They are, as well, invitations to practice more meaningfully one’s own religious tradition.

What have you learned from your friends?

5 thoughts on “My Muslim and Jewish Friends”

  1. Danny Lopez, student of our Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity at St. John Mission, Komatke, is a friend that lived tirelessly respect for his own culture, but more importantly traditional values of respect for all. One person does and can make a difference.

  2. I don’t want to make it look like I’m the only one who learns from friends, but… I thought it significant to share what Pope Benedict had to say about Pope John XXIII on October 29, 2008: “Faith in Christ and the Church was the secret that made Pope John XXIII a worldwide promoter of peace, Benedict XVI proposed in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the election of the “Good Pope.”

    As we get closer to the All Saints celebration in our Church, it is comforting to know the power of intercession is there for so many good souls in heaven.

  3. This out from Zenit today..
    New Catholic-Muslim Forum Gets to Work

    Talks Begin on Love of God, Love of Neighbor

    VATICAN CITY, NOV. 4, 2008 ( The first seminar organized by the newly established Catholic-Muslim Forum began today on the theme “Love of God, Love of Neighbor.”

    The group, with 29 representatives per creed, was established by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and representatives of the 138 Muslim leaders who sent an open letter to Benedict XVI and other Christian leaders last October.

    According to the Vatican press office, the panel will consider the seminar theme from two main angles: “theological and spiritual fundamentals” and “the dignity of the human person and mutual respect.”

  4. Sister Rosangela says:

    How refreshing to read about the seminar by the Catholic/Muslim Forum. I for one am guilty of negative feelings toward Muslims because I don’t know anything about them or what they truly believe. Because of all the war news I am left with negative thoughts. It makes me realize I need to read about the subject. Although I have always been against the war because we are supposed to be a Christian Nation!!

  5. I have had a very close Jewish friend for forty three years. It has been my joy and priviledge to learn more of our elder brothers in faith. Bar mitvahs, weddings, funerals, sabbath meals, and sharing what is common to our religions has deepened our appreciation of our heritage over the years.

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