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A Local Initiative - Illawarra People for Peace

posted Oct 16, 2014, 6:11 PM by Sean Donovan
A Local Initiative - Illawarra People for Peace

During the week representatives from our Lumen Christi Catholic Parishes, Wollongong, the Islamic community, the Uniting Church and representatives from the two Federal Members of Parliament met to pray for peace amidst the current international discord, as well as to discern ways to promote harmony in our local area. This was a most important and inspiring meeting. The following resolutions were made:

# That this group continue to meet under the name “Illawarra People for Peace”.
# That a community BBQ be held to bring people from all walks of life and creeds together by sharing a typically Aussie event.
# That a press release be given to the local media about the nature of this initiative.

Let’s keep this initiative in our prayer and conversation.

The second meeting of the Illawarra People for Peace will occur at The Saint Brigid’s Hall, Gwynneville on 15th October at 7pm. If you wish to be part of the “Illawarra People for Peace” and meet to take forward the initial resolutions of this group. I invite all parishioners to pray for this initiative and for peace in our local area, country and throughout the world.

I hope that many of our parishioners will be able to come along to the Community BBQ planned for later November. Spread the word that Lumen Christi, Wollongong is an active member of “Illawarra People for Peace” and we strive to be peacemakers with all our brothers and sisters.

In 1965 Pope Paul VI promulgated the document “The Declaration on the Relations of the Church with Non-Christian Religions” (Nostra Aetate). The Catholic Church regards the Muslims with esteem. Christianity and Islam have many things  in common: worship of One God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, God Merciful and Omnipotent, God has spoken to humankind.

Islam respects Abraham and Mary, and they have great respect  Jesus, whom they consider to be a Prophet. This document urged all Catholics and Muslims to forget the hostilities and differences of the past and to work together for mutual understanding and benefit.
At the invitation of Dean Ron Peters an interested group of people comprising of Muslims, Uniting Church, Catholics and representatives of our local Federal Members met at the Bishop's house Wollongong because they were concerned about the discord and violence in the Middle East overflowing into our local community.

The meeting discussed what could happen so as overcome misguided prejudice and build bridges of harmony and peace in our local community. To raise awareness it was agreed to host a public BBQ in Novemeber because relationships are built around the sharing of food.

Media contact:
Dean Ron Peters 0415 518 806 (St Francis Xavier's Cathedral) Acting President Gary Ismail 0413 001 368 (Illawarra Islamic Society)