Salesian Family reflects on presence among Muslims

Logo by Bro James Antopina SDB, Philippines.

KOLKATA, (C.M. Paul) – A five-day study is planned for Salesians (SDB) and Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA) working among the Muslims. Third gathering of its kind, current study scheduled in Rome, 30 July to 4th August, comes after 11 years after the previous study and first time after the catastrophic events of 9/11 2001.
Fifty two participants (38 SDB+14 FMA) from some 45 countries will participate.   During last 120 years, starting from 1891, Salesians are present among the Muslims in about 50 countries in which a significant percentage of Muslims are living.
In the last 12 years Salesians went to five new Islamic countries – Azerbaijan, Kuwait, and Kosovo (2000); United Arab Emirates (2008) and Bangladesh (2009).
Explaining the objectives of the meet, Mission Councillor Fr Vaclav Klement says, “The Study Days are meant to foster reflective discussions and a deeper contextualised reflection on the Salesian presence among Muslims in order to arrive at a deeper understanding of the challenges and discover new insights and perspectives in view of a rediscovering its relevance today.”
The methodology for study days consist of Lectio Divina, I. Situationer,  2. Study & Reflection, and 3. Formulating Conclusions.
Fr Alfred Maravilla and Sr Maike Loes will be the moderators.
They are joined by facilitators Sr. Runita Borja, FMA and Fr. Piergiorgio Gianazza, SDB who will help with the management of the working groups, the main methodology to be used.
Among the four speakers, three are external experts from the Pontifical Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies (PISAI) Rome, while fourth speaker, a member of the SDB General Council.  First presentation by Fr. Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, MCCJ of PISA I-Rome is entitled «Christian-Muslim Relationship in History: Challenges and Opportunities Today». In it he will examine important examples of the relationship throughout history, important lessons could be drawn out which indicate challenges and opportunities in the present-day situation.
On the second day Fr. Maurice Borrmans, M. Afr. – former Professor at PISAI, author of books on Islamic-Christian dialogue – will present «The Presence of Muslims in Christian Settings: the Paths for Dialogue and Proclamation» – He will show how Muslims in Christian settings [e.g. in the neighbourhood, school, hospitals, centres for culture, marriage, etc.] in Islamic contexts as well as in traditionally Christian countries offer exciting  possibilities and new challenges in interreligious dialogue and cooperation.
Third day talk by Prof. Francesco Zannini – PISAI, Rome entitled «Christian Witness as a “prophetic presence” » will show how Christian relationship with Muslims become truly a prophetic presence.
Fourth and final talk entitled «The Significance, Opportunities and Challenges of Salesian Presence with Muslims»  by Dr. Maria Arokiam Kanaga, Regional Councillor for South Asia will suggest ways to apply the Salesian educational methodology outlining the challenges and opportunities it presents.


Filed under Christian Muslim Dialogue, Uncategorized

3 responses to “Salesian Family reflects on presence among Muslims

  1. Fr.Tomy Kuruvilla

    I only hope these individuals, who are presenting the papers on “The Significance, Opportunities and Challenges of Salesian Presence with Muslims” have really worked in these regions at least for ten years.

  2. Fr. Miguel was just month ago appointed a Secretary to the Pontifical Council for Interreligious dialogue… don’t know if he ever worked in any Islamic country…

  3. Vaclav Klement

    Yes, Fr. Miguel Angel Auyso worked as a Comboni missionary in the Sudan – Khartoum and El Obeid, Egypt until 2002, then he was teaching in Cairo, Khartoum islamology

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