quarta-feira, 23 de abril de 2008

Minutes at the JPIC Meeting of Coordinators SSpS/SVD in Nitra, Slovakia

Christian-Muslim Dialogue in our Migrant Ministry

Monday, 31/03/2008
Day of Arrival

- In the evening welcome-address of the two provincials Sr. Veronika Theresia Racková, SSpS and Fr. Peter Dusicka, SVD (A 1)
- Self-introduction and social get together

Tuesday, 01/042008
- Spiritual impulse by Sr. Yuvensia Daso SSpS, Slovakia
Giving and receiving is a basic precondition for any kind of encounter and dialogue.

- Input by Fr. Markus Solo SVD on “Christian-Muslim Dialogue in our Migrant Ministry” – What unites us – what separates us? Is theological dialogue possible? (A 2 ppt)
At present, Fr. Solo works in the Vatican at the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue (PCID).
After a short overview of the present situation in Europe regarding its Muslim population, Fr. Markus stressed the new attitude in the Catholic Church since Vatican II manifested in Vatican documents and post-Vatican Church writings. “All people who are in search of God have the same dignity; therefore, they should share the same freedom, the same respect.”

Several SSpS Sisters from the Slovak province including the novices were attending Fr. Markus Solo’s lecture as well as some SVDs from the provincial house.

- Statements of those who work or are in contact with Muslims in one way or the other.
Sr. Benedikta Böckelmann, JPIC Coordinator of the SSpS provinces in Europe, gave a prolonged statement on problems of Muslim women and girls especially on arranged/forced marriages and murder for the honour of the family in Germany. There was actually not enough time for the topic on women and Islam as well as trafficking of human beings especially women and children for prostitution. The number of questions indicated that there was a great interest among the participants.
Suggestions: Could not SVDs and/or SSpS do something in the line of raising of awareness or prevention in the countries where most of those affected by human trafficking come from?

Sharing in groups about the following questions:

1) What help has today’s talk and discussion offered to my concrete ministry with migrants in Europe?

2) What could we as SSpS and SVD do together in this field of dialogue and how can we set up a European network?
Results: See A 3

Wednesday, 02 April 2008
Spiritual impulse prepared by Sr. Sujata Sawarimuthu, SSpS.
Move us from the fringes of fear and indecision into the centre of your will.
- Msgr. Dr. Petrus Bsteh, brother of Fr. Andreas Bsteh, SVD, gave a lecture on “Dialogue with Muslims“ (A 4)
Fr. Bsteh is a diocesan priest and has been rector of Kontaktstelle für Weltreligionen [Contact point for world religions] in Vienna for some years.

He talked mainly about the history and general preconditions of encounters between Christians, Jews and Muslims as sons and daughters of Abraham. But he stressed that there is nowadays so to speak a “burning” necessity for interfaith dialogue but this is only possible on the fundament of mutual respect, authentic belief and prayer.

Group sharing
Questions for group work:
1) What questions do Christians ask Muslims normally at their encounters?
2) What questions do Muslims ask Christians normally at their encounters?
3) How can we deal with the questions and answer them?
Results of discussions: A 5

Discussion in the plenary on the topics of the two inputs with the two resource persons:
1) Request for some information about the role of women in Islam.
Women are lower than men in the Islam e.g. when it comes to the heritage.
Violence against women is legitimized in the Koran. That is a fact but in every day life women react to this fact differently in urban and in rural or remote areas. (These are combined answers of both lecturers.)
2) For what reason do we enter dialogue? What is the purpose of our dialogue?
Do we prefer dialogue to encounter?
Whatever we call what we try to do, encounter or dialogue:
No communication among men when God is not in it and no communication with God without communication among men. This holds true especially for the three monotheistic religions. Relationship creates unity. The deeper we believe something the more competent our actions will be. Act out of piety, true commitment to God and all the rest follows suit. The most important basis is belief and prayer: we do what we are not vice versa. (According to Msgr. Bsteh)

Fr. Markus Solo, SVD, final statement:
Happy for the interest
Dialogue, encounter with Muslims is an act of knowing the others better from outside but much more from inside. If we know them better from inside: personal formation.
1) knowing about Muslims
2) official studies Arabic and Islam, inter-religious dialogue
We do not have many members neither - SVD nor SSpS - educated that way and engaged in this dialogue. Encouragement: to do something in this field either ourselves or other sisters or confreres.
1) Interreligious Dialogue means: Bearing witness
2) Djihad: struggle: big: against egoism etc.
small: fight people: defensively responding
to attacks from outside
3) Dialogue of life
4) Prayer:
Inter-religious prayer: one formula of prayer for all participants
Multi-religious prayer: followers of different religious come together and pray together one after the other according to their religious traditions.
5) Abraham as a very important person in our religious relationship:
1) Hospitality of Abraham: accusation of Muslims against Christians in
2) Faith of Abraham: being rooted in one’s own faith to be able to make
dialogue with others.

Reports from the JPIC Coordinators
Some of the reports were handed in to the participants in printed form but they will be sent to them via email as well. Please find them as attachments R 1 – R.7.

1) SVD Portugal Coordinator Fr. Valentim Oliveira Gonçalves
2) SSpS Spain / Portugal Coordinator Sr. Maria Mendes
3) SVD Spain Coordinator Fr. David Antona
4) SSpS Netherlands Coordinator Sr. Imaria; Sr. Yuliana Mamuk read
the text prepared by Sr. Imaria Niessen
5) SVD Italy Representative Fr. Elmer (Paulino) Bumanglag
gave a short overview over the JPIC work in the Italian SVD province
6) SVD England / Ireland Coordinator Fr. Finbarr Tracey
7) SSpS Austria Coordinator Sr. Felixine Kofler

Thursday, 03 April, 2008
Spiritual impulse Sr. Melina Polo
Prayer for Peace among Peoples together with the World’s living Religions

Zonal meeting of SVD and SSpS for about an hour (A 6 / A 7)

Reports continued
Please find them as attachments R 8 – R.12.

8) England/ Ireland SSpS Coordinator Sr. Sujata Sawarimuthu
9) Austria SVD Coordinator Fr. Patrick Kofi Kodom
10) Netherlands/Belgium SVD Coordinator Fr. Toon van Bijnen
11) Slovakia SSpS Coordinator Sr. Yuvensia Daso
12) Slovakia SVD Coordinator Fr. Pavel Kobliha

1) Outing: sightseeing in Nitra
2) Visits to:
- Orechov Dvor on the outskirts of Nitra, a place for Roma and other people who did not pay the rents for their apartments; some information by vice mayor of Nitra Mr. Balaz. Present were as well the SSpS provincial of Slovakia Sr. Veronika Theresia Rackova and the two Sisters working with the children.
- Novy Svet, near Šurany city, a rehabilitation centre for people addicted to alcohol, drugs and/or gambling. Please, find more information in R 12, the report from the SVD Coordinator for JPIC in the Slovakian province.

Friday, 04 April, 2008
Spiritual impulse by Sr. Felixine Kofler
Bless, oh Lord, the whole creation.

Reports continued
Please find them as attachments R 13 – R 17.

13) SSpS Poland Sr. Yuvensia Daso read the report from Poland
14) SVD Poland Representative Fr. Jacek Gniadek
15) SVD Germany Euro-& German Coordinator Fr. Norbert Mushoff
16) SSpS Germany Euro- & German Coordinator Sr. Benedikta Böckelmann
17) SVD Coordinator from the Generalate Fr. Milan Bubak, gave some information on UNO and VIVAT International, on his role as JPIC coordinator: What is JPIC? (Both are Power Point Presentations)
Planning the next meeting:
Themes: Global warming: focus on Water
EPA Economic Partnership Agreement
Spirit of the Co-operatives
The roots of the problems of people we are living and working with
Fair world trade
Migration and refugees
The final decision is with the aerial coordinators.
Date: Time intervals in future: 2 or 3 years?
Suggestion: Next year in April/May? As an exception! The decision of the intervals in future will be made at that meeting.
Venues: Verona or Birmingham:
Since in Verona logistics are difficult and Birmingham, UK, is
not under Schengen, it is difficult to obtain visa for people from non-European countries.
Therefore the SVD Zonal Coordinator Fr. Anton Fencz invited the participants to St. Gabriel near Vienna: several migrants live in the SVD house; it is solar powered.

At a certain point of the discussion during the meeting, it was suggested to have a kind of document somehow manifesting the position of the participants. Sr. Benedikta together with Fr. Solo and some helpers prepared the text. It was accepted by the participants unanimously. (A 8)

The farewell address of Norbert Mushoff since he is leaving office was at the same time the official end of the meeting.

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