A Reflection on Interreligious Dialogue

A Reflection on Interreligious Dialogue

By Niru Maya Tamang

Interreligious Dialogue of Catholic Church is the most enlightening and informative session to me. The highlighted topic of this session attracted me to take part in it. It was my first online session from the Asian Lay Leaders Forum and I had mixed feelings of both excitement and nervousness. In the first week of the session when pluralism in the Bible was introduced, I felt I was not meant for this session because I was not able to understand anything.

The whole topic, terms and words used in this session was all new to me. I even planned to discontinue this session but I challenged my self and determined to pay good attention in the session and ask the the questions I if did not understand anything. I payed proper attention and found that Fr. Bagus was trying to make us understand each and every new topic in more simpler way, it was me who was stopping to understand that new words not that the words were too difficult. So, the session became more and more interesting with the new topic such as Vatical II, Abu Dhabi Document, Interreligious dialogue of Catholic Church with other religion and much more.

As Nepali Catholic girl, studying in an Islamic country, Bangladesh. In the beginning, found it very difficut to talk with Muslim students due to the stereotypical thinking which I had about them and that they were against christians and that they’re terrorists. I used to feel safe and had a feeling of family with any chiristian students despite of their nationality but used to feel that I was in another planet when I was with non-christian students. But this session especially: Interreligious Dialogue of Catholic Church with Islam and Abu Dhabi Document really helped me a lot to accept each and every person as a creation of God and to respect their religions too. Currently, I have a good relationship with other non-christian students in my university, thanks to this session.

The group discussion was my favorite part of this session because I got to learn and know different experiences and views of other participants in the group. Actually, I did not actively participate in the group discussion, and  sometimes when I did I found that other group members were very supportive, kind and passionate to hear my unrelevent explanation. This group discussion had taught me to open up my self mentally and spiritually and to be more confident in myself.

Lastly,  I used to feel that I knew about my religion: Catholic Church fully but from this session I learned that there are still many things left to be learned and that I did not know about my religion completely. Now I feel that I need to keep on learning about my religion and know about it completely so that one day I can really defend my religion with full confidence against the world of controversies.

Reflection on “Basic Knowledge on the Lay People in the World”

Reflection on “Basic Knowledge on the Lay People in the World”

by Jayani

Hello everyone. I am Jayani from Sri Lanka. First of all, I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to participate in the course “Basic Knowledge on the Lay People in the World” being held through the ALL Forum. Although I am studying for degree in Christianity at first I did not have a good understanding regarding Lay Theology, but after attending to this course I was able to gain a better understanding of Lay Theology.

This course had eight sessions. By participating in this course I had the opportunity to study new topics each week. Topics such as who is laity?, Aparecida document, historical signposts in the making of laity, Catholic/Ecclesial movements, Liberation of the Laity, Gaudete eat Exsultate by Pope Francis, etc. When we focused on Aparecida document, I learned about Kingdom of God. Besides I was also able to learn how to promote human dignity and how to put it into an action. Apostolical Actuositatem is the second Vatican council decree on the apostolate of the Laity. This was an important resource for this course. We discussed about different Catholic movements around the world. Gaudete et Exsultate is the third apostolic exhortation of pope Francis. It addresses the universal call to holiness, with a focus to repropose the call to holiness in a practical way for our own time. This course also focused on the various encyclicals presented by the Pope Francis.

I decided to take this course to gain a broad knowledge of this subject. The most highlighted event of this course was the group discussion. Because it enabled me to gain knowledge as well as share our ideas with members in other countries. Through this group discussion it was also possible to know others social information.

All these lessons were very well explained by Ms. Kochurani. Here I express my heartfelt thank to her. I would like to thank Mr. Neilan who managed this course very well. I also appreciate the support received from members in other countries for the successful completion of this course. Overall, this course was a great success! Thank You!

Sharing on the Online Course – Basic Theology on the Lay People in the World

Sharing on the Online Course – Basic Theology on the Lay People in the World

By Dwana Andrew

Grateful thanks to ALL Forum for giving me this opportunity to share a few words after joining this liberating session. Amazingly, my journey in this ALL Forum Online Course on Theology of The Laity has brought a profound revelation to me as a “sceptical” Catholic.

Over the years, I became very active in youth engagement in Catholic Church. The way I perceived my life incidents or the reality of my life is determined by the way how I received the teaching from the church. As time goes by, I started to look for more, the “magis”, and that is how the desire to know beyond what I have received in my life thus far, arose.

From this session, I have the conviction that laity is not a mere follower. Laities can and need to understand who we believe, what we believe, why we believe and why we are all important in the building of the church and her sustainability.

The role of the laity becomes important through times. It is Crucial for the Laity to get opportunities to contribute more in the church building; which involve in (not limited to) social structure, economic, knowledge, spirituality gender balance in church leadership and move together as an ecology. Laity too receive the sacrament of baptism (reborn/new again) and the charism (gift/talent) –Apostolic Activity; what does it make for me that I don’t serve as the people of God in the Kinship of God after all the graces that we receive from God.

I believe that laity can help the church in grounding to the reality faced by the people of God in their daily life. This session helped me to reflect on how I walk my faith into daily action; In relating to today’s context, how I make myself valid in the time of COVID-19, what I feel and how I can support others; To connect the church to see what is happening on the ground, the suffering of the people; To see how social justice can be brought in this situation. We have to know what is happening in the world so that our prayer of peace can be manifested for those who are underprivileged.

As the world is evolving, I believe that the laity plays a role to alert the church to always move and be sensitive to the signs of the time. The rise of Catholic Movements acknowledges that clergy & laities can go beyond together and the balance between contemplation and action, both are taking part from the clergy and laity.

After being exposed to a few documents from Vatican II Council & Church documents namely, Apostolic Activity, parecida, Gaudete et Exsultate, I feel that I am liberated as I have now understood how important it is for the laity to have knowledge about the church’ evolution through time, overcoming all the dark sides and staying stronger from time to time in this contemporary world. The reconciliation of clergy & laity surely will bring us to peace and holiness which is afterall a divine call to all of us.

Thank you once again to ALL Forum for organizing and to Dr. Kochurani Abraham for this session. I hope I can go deeper in this discipline