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'Mercy, The Heart
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placeholder August 8, 2016   •   VOL. 54, NO. 14   •   Oakland, CA

Rabbi Daniel Sperber

Bishop Ioan Casian

Musdah Mulia
'Mercy, The Heart of Peace,'
prayer and dialogue, on Sept. 6

People from throughout the Diocese of Oakland are invited to the Cathedral of Christ the Light on Sept. 6 for an evening of prayer and dialogue on peace — even if means getting out of your comfort zone.

"For us in the Community [of Sant'Egidio] this is the path that has led us to many events of encounter: we are not 'professionals' of dialogue and peace, rather we are regular people who take the invitation of the Gospel, highlighted by Pope Francis, to not be close in our own comfortable circle but to go out and meet the other," said Paola Piscitelli, of Sant'Egidio USA, who will be moderating the event.

Meeting of Prayer for Peace, collaboration between the Diocese of Oakland and the Community of Sant'Egidio, was announced by Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, last month. "There is something positive you and I can do to promote peace: by coming together to pray, and give common witness to our desire for peace," the bishop told readers of his Catholic Voice column.

Bishop Barber also spread the word about the upcoming event when he spoke at a July 29 prayer vigil for peace in Oakland at Acts Full Gospel Church, inviting those present to join him at the Sept. 6 event at the Cathedral Event Center.

The Sept. 6 event unfolds in three distinct parts. It begins at 5:45 p.m. with attendees invited to pray in their faith traditions, with spaces available for prayer in Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and Christian traditions.

At 6:30 p.m., all present will gather in the Cathedral Event Center for dialogue on peace. The presenters will be Rabbi Daniel Sperber, Professor Musdah Mulia and Bishop Ioan Casian of Vicina.

Rabbi Sperber is the author of a multivolume series on the history of Jewish law and customs. Musdah Mulia is a senior researcher, activist and lecturer. She is the first woman to obtain a doctor of philosophy in Islamic Political Thought from the State Islamic University of Syarif Hidayatullah, Jakarta, Indonesia.

Bishop Casian was elected in 2006 by the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church as vicar bishop for the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in the Americas.

After the dialogue and opportunity for questions, the gathering, led by children, will process to the Cathedral Plaza, where representatives of the faith communities will sign a pledge for peace. Attendees will also be welcome to sign a pledge for peace.

The evening has its roots in the convocation of all world faiths called in Assisi in 1986 by St. John Paul II.

Prayer for Peace
Mercy, the Heart of Peace

Sept. 6, 5:45-9 p.m.

Cathedral of Christ the Light Event Center, 2121 Harrison St., Oakland

Reservation and information:
Bishop Casian hopes the participants will be able to learn about "the core values of the Christian Orthodox Tradition, which are — the love for God and the love for the neighbor — as presented in the Scripture and the particular way in which this Church incarnated these values in the society at different stages."

Mulia hopes participants will learn that Islam strongly teaches that human being is a noble creature entrusted with a special task to be khalifah fil ardh (a moral agent). "As the moral agent, every human being is obliged to uphold peace, justice, prosperity, and welfare in the universe. From a linguistic perspective, Islam generally means a profound concern for peace and justice. "

To get the most from the event, Rabbi Sperber said attendees should "think carefully what they will talk about, to clarify to themselves — i.e. their views, honestly without compromising their own position."

Bishop Casian said "each one of the participants needs courage, openness, trust and prayer in order to become an active agent of this kind of gathering which foster a spirit of love, patience, understanding, tolerance and inclusiveness."

Mulia concludes, "Promoting peace must begin from family life with the principle of acceptance of others. This principle of acceptance of others is very important in promoting peace and must be instilled in society, starting from the creation of peace within our family. If our marriage is based on mercy and true love, our families can raise children, future generations, who have peace within themselves, high self-confidence, optimistic attitude and good behavior."

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