Spirit of Assisi Supper in the USA

•8.12.2011 • Leave a Comment

Our parish, Saint Francis of Assisi, in Triangle, Virginia marked the Assisi Day of Peace with a simple supper of soup, bread, fruit and cookies. This meal was followed by a DVD presentation and discussion. The DVD included the story of a National Geographic photographer, DeWitt Jones. He spoke of how belief affects what we see. In sharing how he is able to recognize the grandeur and wonder of creation, setting up magnificent photo studies by waiting and watching, he inspired our depth of vision regarding the damage we do to this wondrous world.
In our discussion, participants shared their own opportunities to see the greatness of God in the gifts of the earth. We brainstormed about what we need to do and what we can do and what me must desist from doing in the future. We spoke about how politics controls and the economy limit the possibilities for substantial change.
The DVD is available thru a company called Starstruck. Their address is Starstruck.com

By Fr. John Heffernan

Advertisements

CELEBRATIONS DU 25e ANNIVERSAIRE EN FRANCE

•3.12.2011 • 1 Comment

COLLOQUE INTERNATIONAL ET GRANDE MARCHE INTERRELIGIEUSE POUR LE 25eme ANNIVERSAIRE DE LA RENCONTRE D’ASSISE À PARIS

300 personnes ont participé au Colloque international organisé à Paris le 11 novembre 2011 pour célébrer le 25eme anniversaire de la Rencontre interreligieuse d’Assise. Le thème était « L’Esprit d’Assise aujourd’hui : expériences, difficultés et perspectives ». Il a été rappelé l’histoire et les enjeux avec, notamment, le témoignage de John Taylor (ancien secrétaire général de Religions pour la Paix) qui a participé au Rassemblement du 27 octobre 1986. Il a fait passer parmi les participants la médaille en bronze commémorative de l’événement. Des membres des différentes confessions religieuses sont également intervenus, soulignant l’impact prophétique et son héritage. Après le repas préparé par les Sikhs, l’après-midi était consacré à deux tables rondes : la première, portant sur l’éducation à la paix, rassemblait des représentants de mouvements (comme Sant’Egidio) et des confessions (sikhs, juifs, musulmans –soufi-, bouddhiste, confessions chrétiennes catholique, protestante, orthodoxe) ; la deuxième concernait les difficultés, les espérances, rassemblant des membres des confessions citées. Jean-Claude Petit, ancien directeur et rédacteur en chef de La Vie, actuellement Président du Réseau Chrétien de la Méditerranée, évoquait le « cancer intégriste » comme grave menace sur le dialogue interreligieux ; intégristes présents dans chaque traditions religieuses qui sont de plus en plus actifs et agressifs. Jean-Claude Petit n’hésitait pas à affirmer que les médias ont une part importante dans la montée de la violence. Ce « cancer intégriste » est favorisé par la crise économique et sociale, exacerbant les réflexes identitaires et les violences. Plusieurs intervenants, dont Mgr Michel Santier, évêque de Créteil, qui a terminé son mandat de responsable du dialogue interreligieux au sein de la Conférence des évêques (il est remplacé par Mgr Michel Dubost, évêque d’Evry), ont affirmé qu’il ne sert à rien de polémiquer avec les intégristes, enfermés dans leurs certitudes, mais qu’il faut expliquer dans le calme le sens et l’importance d’une telle démarche.

Un partage entre jeunes de toutes traditions religieuses s’est déroulé le 12 novembre avec rencontre de sages, buffet, concert et danses du monde.

Le 13 novembre avait lieu la grande marche interreligieuse, rassemblant 500 personnes, ponctuée par des étapes dans différentes communautés (sikhe, catholique, protestante, chaldéenne, hindouiste). L’arrivée avait lieu à Saint-Denis de la chapelle où a été lu un message des participants adressé « aux femmes et aux hommes de bonne volonté ». C’est devant 500 personnes qu’a ensuite eu lieu un temps d’expression de prière de chaque communauté, troublé au départ par 12 jeunes intégristes. C’était une belle illustration de ce qu’évoquait Jean-Claude Petit (cf. ci-dessus). Un concert du monde pour la paix terminait magnifiquement les festivités.

DES MARCHES INTERRELIGIEUSES À EVRY, LYON ET CANNES

Près de 1000 personnes ont participé, le 22 octobre 2011, à une marche interreligieuse à Evry. Les participants ont commencé par la pagode bouddhiste, puis ont été accueillis à la synagogue, la cathédrale, et la mosquée (où le thé leur a été offert).

Plusieurs centaines de personnes ont également participé, en lien avec la Famille Franciscaine, à une marche interreligieuse pour la Paix à Lyon. A chaque halte, le représentant d’une des confessions participantes a lu un texte ou une prière. Tous se sont retrouvés devant la cathédrale Saint-Jean en fin d’après-midi.

A Cannes, 700 personnes ont participé à une marche interreligieuse le 14 novembre organisée par deux mouvements chrétiens. Des membres de la Famille Franciscaine y ont participé.

COLLOQUE À L’INSTITUT CATHOLIQUE DE PARIS POUR CÉLÉBRER LE 25eme ANNIVERSAIRE DE LA RENCONTRE D’ASSISE

Le 22 et 23 septembre 2011 s’est déroulé à l’Institut Catholique de Paris un colloque intitulé « Dialogue et conversion : mission impossible ? » (comprises dans les journées doctorales de rentrée des étudiants de 2e et 3e Cycles du Theologicum), sous la présidence de Mgr Félix Machado, ancien secrétaire du Conseil Pontifical pour le Dialogue interreligieux, et la présence de Mgr Michel Santier, évêque de Créteil, Président du Conseil pour les Relations Interreligieuses de la Conférence des évêques de France. La quinzaine d’intervenants ont permis une approche sous divers angles de l’annonce et du dialogue. Les différentes traditions religieuses étaient représentées : bouddhisme tibétain, islam sunnite, judaïsme.

Fr. Jean-Louis PAUMIER (Paris)

Coordination interprovinciale Justice et Paix

The Spirit of Assisi in Canada

•2.12.2011 • Leave a Comment

Report from OFS, Vancouver, BC, Canada. We were reminded that in celebrating the Spirit of Assisi: “We want to remember our call to be signs of unity and right relationships among ourselves and with all of creation, including those who do not share our faith or who profess no faith at all.”

That implies an ecumenical gathering. The St Francis Fraternity, OFS (Vancouver, BC, Canada) failed to do that. The fraternity must try again in the future, hopefully with First Nation, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Russian Orthodox participants. However the fraternity did consider “right relationships among ourselves and with all of creation.” In a presentation entitled: “Cry of the earth, cry of the poor” it saw the links between sustainable stewardship (care of creation) and the struggle for justice for the poor.

At an Area Chapter of Mats held in Surrey, BC (8 October 2011) for seven local fraternities attended by about 30 OFS brothers and sisters, we celebrated the meeting of Francis and the Sultan with a skit and prayer and discussion.

The theme for the next Chapter of Mats for the OFS National Fraternity of Canada (May 2012) is: “Bearers of Peace and Love: Be not afraid.” The Spirit of Assisi will be celebrated with a Pilgrimage, presentations on “Peace,” “Francis and the Sultan” and “Cry of the Earth, cry of the Poor.”  At the Chapter, resolutions will be presented concerning the adoption of a National JPIC Plan and adoption of an ethical purchasing (fair trade) policy.

Spirit of Assisi Concert Sydney

•2.12.2011 • 1 Comment

A unique event of fine music and interfaith prayer was held at Pitt Street Uniting Church on Saturday 29 October.

Our special guests included Rev Dr Stephanie Dowrick (MC), Jane Rutter (Flute Queen), Dr Kim Cunio and Heather Lee (leaders in sacred music), Christopher Perrin (trumpet), Jassen Rose (organ) and Lanneke Wallace-Wells (music director).

The combined choir performed pieces such as Song for Athene, The Lord is My Shepherd, Sanctus and A Clare Benediction. An audience of approximately 300 people was treated to a special performance of Blackbird (Lennon/McCartney) by Jane Rutter and her son Bertie. St Clare’s College Waverley and Di Canto also performed special pieces that highlighted the significance of St Francis today and our relationship with those in need, particularly refugees and asylum seekers.

Prayers for peace were led by leaders from the Sabian Madaean, Catholic, Uniting, Jewish, Buddhist and Baha’i traditions.

All proceeds from this concert were directed to The House of Welcome, a service for refugees and asylum seekers.

More about activities in Australia and Singapore can be seen here

O Espírito de Assis faz morada no Convento São Francisco em São Paulo

•2.12.2011 • Leave a Comment

O Ato Inter-religioso realizado neste 27 de outubro de 2011, no centenário Convento São Francisco, em São Paulo, mostrou com todas as letras que o encontro realizado em Assis, há 25 anos, deixou uma cultura de paz para a humanidade. Ver o presbitério da igreja do Convento tomado por treze lideranças das mais diferentes crenças, religiões e fé foi emocionante. Ao som do trompete do músico José Eduardo Pimentel, o Duda, teve início a procissão das lideranças presentes neste ato.  Com a saudação franciscana de “Paz e Bem”, o guardião do Convento, Frei Salésio Hillesheim, que representou o Ministro Provincial Frei Fidêncio Vanboemmel, acolheu a todos, lembrando que o momento era muito mais do que histórico. “É um momento humano. A paz e a justiça não são questões meramente religiosas, mas são da nossa sobrevivência neste nosso mundo e nosso planeta”, disse Frei Salésio. Enquanto em Assis, o Papa Bento XVI renovava o compromisso pela paz, reunindo líderes mundiais, o Definidor da Província da Imaculada Conceição, Frei Mário Tagliari, dava início à celebração no Convento São Francisco, apresentando cada representante das religiões presentes no altar: Márcio Henrique de Souza Ramos, representante Curimba Filhos de Umbanda, uma associação dentro da Umbanda; Afonso Moreira Junior, representando a Federação Espírita do Estado de São Paulo; Reverendo Kazuya Nagashima, budista Risho Kossei-Kai do Brasil; Gustavo Pinto, budista da Terra Pura; Monja Coen Sensei é missionária oficial da tradição Soto Shu – Zen Budismo; Shaikh Ahmad Mazloum, da Liga da Juventude Islâmica no Brasil; Sheikh Mohamad Al Bukai, da Liga da Juventude Islâmica do Brasil; Rabino Ruben Sternschein, Congregação Israelita Paulista; Pastor Matthias Tolsdorf, da Igreja Evangélica de Confissão Luterana no Brasil; Reverendo Herbert Rodrigues de Souza, pastor da Igreja Presbiteriana Independente do Brasil; João Kaimbé, representante do povo Kaimbé de São Paulo; Reverendo Leandro Antunes Campos, da Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil; e Dom Edmar Peron, bispo auxiliar da Arquidiocese de São Paulo e vigário episcopal da Região de Belém. Em seguida, tiveram início os pronunciamentos, sempre intercalados com as belíssimas apresentações musicais das crianças que formam o Grupo Flautista da Liberdade, do Centro Comunitário de Acolhimento da Liberdade, dirigido pela Irmã Miriam Simon, franciscana de Ingolstadt.

Celebration of the Spirit of Assisi in Pakistan

•12.11.2011 • Leave a Comment

Representatives of different Religions met for prayer in Lahore, Pakistan

Lahore (Report Khurram Shahzad): National Council for Interfaith Dialogue under the leadership of Fr. Francis Nadeem OFM Cap held an Interfaith Prayer Service for Peace on 27th Oct. 2011 at Peace Hall, St Joseph Church, Lahore Cantt.

This was in continuation of the commitment of the blessed Pope John Paul II he initiated in Assisi, Rome 25 years ago.

Beside 20 Christian priests, 20 Islamic Ulema, Hindu and Sikh priests, more than 200 people attended the prayer service.

The religious leaders read out scriptures from their respective holy books and offered collective prayers.

Fr. Francis Nadeem OFM Cap in his opening remarks said today we have gathered here to commemorate and celebrate 25th Anniversary of the world day of prayer for peace held in Assisi on Oct, 27th, 1986 by Pope John Paul II. He said building on this celebration Pope John Paul II, who made popular the idea of the spirit in Assisi, a concept which has inspired many efforts to promote peace and dialogue over the last quarter century.

He invited all the religious leaders of different religions to reinforce their commitment to peace and dialogue and celebrate this important Anniversary in the Spirit of Assisi.

Fr. Henry Paul OFM Cap. in his speech shed light on the background of the day and added that world was in the grip of war and bloodshed when the blessed  Pope selected the city of Assisi, the native town of St. Francis, to hold a collective peace prayer by all the religious leaders of the world in order to promote interfaith harmony and peace. Today if we really want to have peace and harmony in the world we would have to adopt measures like mercy, tolerance and acceptance.

Mufti Mohd. Sohail Raza Qadri said though we belong to different religions but we are one as a nation. He narrated the event of Fateh Makkah where the holy Prophet (PBUH) gave liberty to all to practice their religion. He also allowed Christians to offer their prayers in Masjid-e- Nabvi which is a greatest example of gesture of peace.

Rev. Fr. James Channan OP, Asian Coordinator of United Religious Initiatives, expressing his pleasure termed the programme as an event of religious freedom and peace and said today the Peace Hall is presenting the look of cradle of peace.

He said in the city of Assisi around three hundred individuals of different religions from 50 countries are present who say that they are working for the peace. He termed Truth, Justice, Love & Freedom, as four pillars of Peace.

Maulana Akbar Saqi in his speech admitted that it was S.P Singha`s (Christian legislator) vote which played a crucial rule for an independent state.

A Hindu leader from UK, Baba Ji Ghi said we used to collectively celebrate Christmas, Eid and Dewali. These celebrations bring us closer to one anther. He appreciated the idea of praying together.

Allama Pir Qazi read out the message of Tahirul Qadri who has number of peace services to his credit.

The Sikh leader in his speech said in order to maintain peace we would have to love and respect our neighbors.

Fr. Qaiser Feroz OFM Cap. said the biggest enemy of social peace is human selfishness. With love and generosity we can maintain peace and all the religions teach the same

Pir Shafaat Rasul said all of us are natives of one land. He added no religion teachers hatred but it is our self interests which create problems. He termed all the religious a truth which cannot be denied and said combine religions is like a bouquet of flowers made by God. He termed St. Francis of Assisi as ambassador of peace and appreciated the peace efforts of the blessed Pope calling him the saint of peace.

Fr. Clarence Hayat said the very first prayer St. Francis offered after his conversion was for peace. Humbleness makes us the ambassador of peace and added God teaches us not only to love human beings but the entire universe.

The Capuchin Brothers repeated all those prayers which were recited in Assisi in 1986 followed by a collective peace prayer by all the religious leaders.

Rev.Fr. Abid Habib read out the peace prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. During this prayer the participants lit candles and sung the concluding song with the choir of St. Joseph Church.

Materials for the celebration of the Spirit of Assisi

•10.10.2011 • 1 Comment

For all you who want to celebrate the Spirit of Assisi wherever you are here you can find proposals for different kinds of celebrations. Feel free to use it and to modify it so that it suits your needs.

You can find the material in various languages under the following links: 

english

français

español

portoguês

deutsch

italiano

polski

hrvatski

corean

bahasa indonesia

 arabic

 hebrew