For the past ten years, during the holy month of Ramadan, Muslim communities in the Chicago area have opened their Iftar meals to non-Muslim guests to promote the spirit of interreligious dialogue. Large numbers of Catholics have openly responded annually to these invitations. Francis Cardinal George, OMI, has been an annual guest at these meals. Apart from these efforts, ongoing interreligious initiatives in our Archdiocese include:
Notwithstanding the foregoing undertakings, we are still concerned that many of us remain less informed, or misinformed, about our Muslim neighbors. With this limited knowledge we understand that we sometimes fall short in our ability to openly and charitably relate with Muslims.
As a pastoral service to parishes, the Office for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs (EIA) has initiated a Muslim-Catholic "literary-catechetical" program. This initiative seeks to offer parishioners an introductory knowledge about Muslims by inserting a small section in your Sunday Bulletin titled, "Who Is My Neighbor?" We hope that parishioners will gradually grow in their knowledge and understanding about Islam, and more importantly, nurture the desire to promote healthy conversation and friendly collaboration with their Muslim neighbors.