Archive for August, 2013

New From Scarboro Mission

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Here’s the latest from Scarboro Mission’s Interfaith Department:



August 15, 2013

As the beginning of another school year quickly approaches, Scarboro Mission’s Interfaith Department is pleased to announce an exciting new expansion of one of its significant interfaith resources, “Milestones in Modern Catholic-Jewish Relations”.

Compiled by Sister Lucy Thorson (of the Sisters of Sion) and Dr. Murray Watson, the “Milestones” highlight more than two dozen major events over the last 70 years, which illustrate the striking change that has taken place in the interaction between the Catholic and Jewish communities since the Second World War. Beginning with the historic 1947 Seelisberg Conference (and its landmark “Ten Points” regarding Christian teaching about Judaism), and continuing right up to the papacy of Pope Francis, the Milestones focus on the growth and deepening of that relationship, and the significant healing that has been taking place between Jews and Christians.

The Milestones initiative is made up on three components, which are available at 

These three features are:

  • a Web document, which provides brief summaries of each of the Milestones, together with live Internet links to the full text of the documents referenced, or video of the events described. This Web site is also illustrated with photos of many key moments in that development;
  • the Milestones in downloadable PDF (Adobe Acrobat) format, suitable for printing and distribution to classes or small groups;
  • an accompanying Powerpoint (PPS) presentation with photos, which can be easily downloaded.


The Web document and the PDF handouts are also available in French ( ), and the PDF will be available soon in Hebrew as well. These materials are provided by Scarboro entirely free of cost. 

As the fiftieth anniversary of Vatican II’s landmark declaration on the Catholic relationship to other faiths (Nostra Aetate) approaches in 2015, the Scarboro Interfaith department hopes that these new materials can enable the public to become more aware of the dramatic progress of the last 70 years. These materials have been designed to be of use to a variety of different audiences:

  • to high school religion teachers (especially those teaching a world religions curriculum, or discussing Judaism and its relationship to Christianity), for use in their classrooms;
  • to university and college professors and their students;
  • to leaders of adult education or faith-sharing groups in churches or synagogues;
  • to local or regional interfaith groups or organizations dedicated to promoting interreligious collaboration and mutual understanding;
  • to individuals (both Jews and Christians) who seek to delve more deeply into contemporary Catholic teaching about Jews and Judaism.

The Milestones project seeks to share the “good news” of these developments with a broader audience, to encourage local groups to celebrate this heritage and build upon this foundation.

We hope that many individuals, classes and groups will take advantage of these materials and use them in creative ways, to foster the mutual respect and knowledge that the Church encourages. We would be very happy to hear how you use them in your particular setting, and how they have been helpful to you.

If you have any questions about the Milestones, please contact Sister Lucy Thorson NDS at the Scarboro Missions Interfaith Department, by phone at 416-261-7135 Ext 244, or by e-mail at

An Iftar Supper

Saturday, August 3rd, 2013

Two OLM’s, Rosemary Hughes and myself, recently attended an Iftar supper. This is the nightly meal with which Muslims break their fast during the month of Ramadan. Nuray and Julius, aided by volunteers from the Intercultural Dialogue Institute, hosted the meal. While waiting for sundown, the hour at which the fast is broken, Christians and Muslims spent time getting to know each other. For the Christians, there was an explanation of the meaning of Ramadan and the fast. When we reached the time at which the fast could be broken (there’s an App for that!) we were treated to a delicious meal. Thank you to all who made this evening possible and enjoyable!

Nuray explains why they hosted this meal:

Julius and I were married three years ago. I am Muslim, from Turkey, and he is Roman Catholic, from the Philippines. A couple of years into our marriage, the challenges of being an inter-faith couple started to trouble us. We found support and meaning when we discovered the Intercultural Dialogue Institute (IDI). We have been volunteering for IDI’s events because their purpose – advancing social cohesion through personal interaction by promoting respect and mutual understanding among people of all cultures and faiths through dialogue and partnership – gives us great joy! It was very apropos to have our Muslim and Catholic friends over for an Iftar dinner during the Holy month of Ramadan.

Sr. Christine Gebel, olm


To learn more about IDI, visit their website:


Intercultural Dialogue Institute – GTA (Toronto) | IDI GTA

Getting to know each other before supper

Getting to know each other before supper

Learning about Ramadan

Learning about Ramadan

Sharing Dinner

Sharing Dinner











Celebrating our diversity

Celebrating our diversity