The FCJ Centre staff and FCJ sisters attended the opening ceremony of the World Interfaith Harmony Week at the City Hall, on February 1, 2024.
One of the highlights of the evening was a reader’s theatre by an interfaith group of children reading and acting out the beautiful story of “Stone Soup” by John J Muth, directed by Joanne Anquist . Through the courage of one child stepping forward and engaging with three visiting monks. The child inspired the town’s people to each contribute a small ingredient, eventually making a delicious soup that everyone shared and enjoyed!
The message of Stone Soup is clear --- when we are willing to share our resources and extend a hand to others, we become stronger and more resilient. It takes just one person to ignite a chain reaction of sharing and helping within a community.
The message of Jyoti Gondek, mayor of City of Calgary, also highlights the heart of interfaith harmony. While many people approached her with requests for help, the interfaith communities consistently asked, "How can I/we help you?" This shift in perspective symbolizes the spirit of compassion that lies at the heart of true harmony.
World Interfaith Harmony Week calls upon us to embrace the courage to reach out, share, connect, and collaborate among religious and cultural divides. We are called to love our neighbors, so we can create a world where diversity is celebrated, understanding is cultivated, and communities thrive together.
This diversity was beautifully expressed in the Women of Faith Event, held on February 8 at the FCJ Centre. There were eight women from different faith traditions who gave short presentations about women from their own traditions who were an inspiration and influence in their own lives. The audience was taken through time and space to hear about Bahai, Buddhist, Christian, Metis, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh women who stood out through their wisdom and courage. Then there were small group discussions about women of influence in everybody's lives. A communal memorial was created by adding rocks together with all the names of the women of influence. #