Jun 20

Peace by pieceIn the lead up to world youth day, an inter-faith peace ceremony will be held in Federation Sqaure on 10th July at 10am.

The ceremony is a very simple way for young people to share the beauty and treasures of their faith in its promotion of peace. Highlights of the Ceremony include:

  • Aboriginal Welcome to Land and Dance Troupe
  • Personal Witness from young people of the Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Islamic, Sikh and Christian faiths
  • Presentation of a Peace Pole to the City of Melbourne
  • Launch of the Peace by Piece Ribbon Campaign
  • Gifts of Olive trees to a representative of each Religious Tradition
  • Expression of the “Sounds of Faith”
  • Opportunity to meet and offer witness to the world
  • 2007 Australian Idol Winner Natalie Gauci to perform live

Peace by Piece seeks to bring together the youth of all faiths in a witness to the world that Religious Traditions are an avenue for Peace and not an obstacle to it. We believe that this will be the first Interfaith Peace Ceremony for Youth ever held in Federation Square and as there will be approx 20,000 Pilgrims in Melbourne in preparation for World Youth Day, we believe that this will present a very positive message to the people of Melbourne.

Should you require further information, please contact either
Fr Michael on 0410606405 or mtwigg@mazenod.vic.edu.au or
Ms Loretta Brinkman 97955077 or lbrinkman@oblates.com.au
Peace by piece advertisement (pdf)

Apr 4

Coffee growerIn Uganda, one man went to his neighbors and his friends and brought together three groups of people – Christian, Muslim and Jewish – to put aside old differences and create a coffee cooperative that now boasts some 700 members of all three faiths. The result: They named their coffee Mirembe Kawomera, which means, “Delicious Peace.” You don’t even have to like coffee to drink this in…

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Mar 11

PopeThe Vatican says Pope Benedict XVI will host a ground-breaking “summit” of Catholic and Muslim leaders in November.

The “Catholic-Muslim Forum” from November 4 to 6, will bring together 24 dignitaries from each faith on the theme of “love God, love your neighbour,” it said.


Mar 3

93% of Muslims describe themselves as moderate Most Muslims ‘desire democracy’.

The largest survey to date of Muslims worldwide suggests the vast majority want Western democracy and freedoms, but do not want them to be imposed.

The poll by Gallup of more than 50,000 Muslims in 35 nations found most wanted the West to instead focus on changing its negative view of Muslims and Islam.

The huge survey began following the 11 September 2001 attacks in the US.

The overwhelming majority of those asked condemned them and subsequent attacks, citing religious reasons.

The poll, which claims to represent the views of 90% the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims, is to be published next month as part of a book entitled Who Speaks For Islam? What A Billion Muslims Really Think.


Feb 29

A 29-page letter (pdf document) drafted by 138 prominent Muslim leaders to leaders of the world’s Christian churches has been met with enthusiasm and encouragement. (Steve G. recommends this report: CS Monitor) The historic Muslim document, entitled, “A Common Word Between Us and You,” received a warm embrace from leaders of the Yale Divinity School in the form of a response that has been cosigned by the Harvard and Princeton seminaries…

The lengthy response released yesterday by the Yale scholars, entitled Loving God and Neighbor Together: A Christian Response to A Common Word between Us and You says, “We receive A Common Word as a Muslim hand of conviviality and cooperation extended to Christians worldwide. In this response we extend our own Christian hand in return, so that together with all other human beings we may live in peace and justice as we seek to love God and our neighbors.”


Feb 7

Plan Australia, in partnership with the Youth Research Centre, at the University of Melbourne, and RMIT University, has been awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project grant, valued at $283,000 over three years, to generate a new model of sustainable partnership across NGOs and learning institutions with the aim to provide youth-led, global education programs for school-aged youth.

Known as the Global Connections Program, the project will facilitate the development of effective processes toward young people’s greater participation in social life and will focus on social connections across racial and religious boundaries.


Feb 6

newspaperThe following is text that appeared recently in the religion column of the ‘Advocate’ newspaper, a periodical from Tasmania.  It is re-printed here with permission.

I have been reading a book called “The Spirituality Revolution” by David Tacey,  one of Australia’s leading thinkers on spirituality. David calls on the church to recognise that “if God is alive and active in the world, then God will be creative in the world, beckoning us to new transformations”.

Perhaps God is calling us to befriend the emerging questions of our time, and listen to those who feel disillusioned with the institutional church in its various forms, I believe that we in the church often diminish God in people’s understanding by sounding as though we are the custodians of truth. God is much bigger than any of our institutions and stated beliefs and forms of worship. Words are icons that can encapsulate some of the truth, but not all of it. One day we will see Truth face to face, and there will be no more need for words. As St. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13, “Now we see through a glass dimly; then face to face”.

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Jan 23

Osama bin Laden’s 26-year-old son Omar wears dreadlocks and a biker jacket and tells the AP “there is a better way to defend Islam than militancy: Omar wants to be an “ambassador for peace” between Muslims and the West.”

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Jan 21

CrossA director who shares the ideas of Iran’s hardline President has produced what he says is the first film giving an Islamic view of Jesus Christ, in a bid to show “common ground” between Muslims and Christians.

Nader Talebzadeh sees his movie, Jesus, the Spirit of God,” as an Islamic answer to Western productions like Mel Gibson’s 2004 blockbuster The Passion of the Christ.

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