JERUSALEM/NAZARETH – An international group of seventeen Russell Berrie students studying interreligious dialogue in Rome came to visit the Latin Patriarchate during their visit of the Holy Land, which completes their academic program.
The students study at the John Paul II Center for Interreligious Dialogue, a center born out of a partnership between the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas and the Russell Berrie Foundation.
This Center aims to build bridges between Christian, Jewish, and other religious traditions by providing its students with a comprehensive understanding of—and dedication to—interfaith issues and initiatives. Starting with a theological background in dialogue, the students then receive training meaning to help them implement, at the end of their studies, their own activities and projects in interreligious dialogue.
During this course, the group travels to the Holy Land, where they have academic sessions at the Shalom Hartman Institute, practical workshops in dialogue with different organizations and diverse engagements with key personalities in the field.
The group – this year coming from Ukraine, the United States, Nigeria, India, Poland, Zimbabwe, Vietnam, and other countries, and joined by the Dean of the Faculty of Theology at the Angelicum, Sister Catherine Joseph Droste – met with Mgr William Shomali, General Vicar of the Latin Patriarchate, in Jerusalem on Saturday, June 18th, and with Mgr Rafic Nahra, Patriarchal Vicar for Israel, in Nazareth on Monday, June 20th. Thanks to them, they learned about the Roman Catholic communities of the Holy Land, the diversity of situations they experience, the richness that they bring as well as the interreligious exchanges they have with other communities.