Seminarians visit mosque, temple for inter religious dialogue
The 4th Year Theology students of the Holy Rosary Major Seminary with Fr. Gerome Pelagio, their professor in Missiology, visited the Libmanan-Pamplona Mosque for an interreligious dialogue experience on April 19, 2023 at Issa Ibn Maryam Masjid Jesus, Son of Mary Masjid and Cultural Center, Mambulo Nuevo, Libmanan, Cam. Sur.
They were oriented by Imam Ahmad Escalante about the basic Islamic beliefs and practices. They observed how Muslims prayed inside their masjid (Mosque).
Then, on April 25, 2023, the Theology students experienced Interreligious Dilaogue with Babajis (fathers) and some of the followers of Sikhism inside the Gurdwara (Sikh Temple) in Balatas, Naga City. They followed the instructions before entering the most sacred place where the holy book of Sikh, Guru Grant Sahib, is enthroned. The ritual includes covering the head, washing of hands, removing of shoes or sandals and washing of feet.
Jaspal Singh, who has been in the Philippines for 23 years, served as the translator for the seminarians and the Punjabi speaking Babajis. The host discussed to the seminarians some basic beliefs, rituals and symbols of their religion. The host gave a chance to the students to have a look at their holy book.
The refreshment served at the kitchen and hall of the Gurdwara served as the conclusion of the interreligious encounter. All Sikh temples have kitchen and hall where they prepare and offer food for poor people.
The Theology students also visited the Temple of Taoism in Balintawak Street, Naga City. They received instructions from the caretaker, Sir Anthon, how they could show proper reverence while they were inside the temple.
Interreligious Dialogue is part of the training of missionaries. Nostra Aetate (NA) underlines: Humanity forms but one community and that today people are drawing more closely together (NA 1). Therefore we cannot truly pray to God the Father of all If we treat any people as other than sisters and brothers, for all are created in God’s image (NA 5). (Text: Archdiocese of Caceres Office of Mission and Evangelization)