On October 17-29, 2022, the 16th annual course on ecumenical and interreligious dialogue was held in Istanbul, Turkey.
This traditional event was organized by the Friars Minor of the St. Maria Draperis community in Istanbul. The course is open to the entire Franciscan Family and anyone else interested in the topics of the coursework. About twenty participants attended, including Franciscan confreres and nuns, an Italian missionary working in Albania and some young volunteers from Italy. Those attending from our Order were Friar Dariusz MAZUREK, the General Delegate for Missionary Animation; Friar Emil KUMKA from the Seraphicum in Rome; and Friar Fictorium Natanael GINTING from Indonesia.
Five important lectures were presented: Dialogue as a Way of Life; The Foundations of Interreligious Dialogue; The Realities of Dialogue; The Meaning of Ecumenical Dialogue; Interreligious and Ecumenical Dialogue and The Franciscans Today. Besides the lectures, there was time devoted to discussion, giving witness and prayer. In addition, Friar Dariusz gave a lecture on Dialogue and the Secular World.
As the event came to a close, all of the participants said they had appreciated the course, both for its content and the way it was organized. Furthermore, there was a renewed willingness on the part of the entire Franciscan Family to collaborate on making the course better each year, in keeping with the call of our Seraphic Father St. Francis of Assisi, so that the message of dialogue and peace might be carried to every part of the world.
The course ended with a visit to the seven churches mentioned by John the Apostle in the Book of Revelation: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea, all located within present-day Turkey.
Friar Fictorium Natanael GINTING