Special Commission for Dialogue with Islam

The Order’s Special Commission for Dialogue with Islam gathered at the General Curia from 21-25 November 2016. The Commission met to establish its agenda of activities and projects for the present sexennium, chief among which will be the preparation of diverse, multilingual materials to assist the Order and its ecumenical and interfaith friends in commemorating the eighth centenary of the meeting between St. Francis and Sultan Malik al-Kamil in 1219.

This was the first meeting of the commission and was organized by Br. Russel Murray, General Animator for Evangelization and President of the Service for Dialogue. The Special Commission’s members are:

  • Br. Michael Calabria (Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, USA): the Order’s Special Assistant for Dialogue with Islam and Director of the Center for Arab & Islamic Studies at St. Bonaventure University in Allegheny, NY.
  • Br. Manuel Corullón (Custody of the Protomartyrs of Morocco): Custos of the Order’s Custody in Morocco and Professor of Islamic Studies at the Higher Ecumenical Institute of Theology of Rabat, aggregated to the Universitè Catholique de Paris and to the Protestant University of Strasbourg.
  • Br. Ferdinand Mercado (Custody of St. Anthony of Padua, Philippines): former Director of the Franciscan Center for Dialogue in Kidapawan City and current Part-Time Professor of World Religions & Interreligious Dialogue at Saint Francis College in Guihulngan City.
  • Br. Jamil Albert (Custody of St. John the Baptist, Pakistan): Assistant Parish Priest in Sacred Heart Cathedral in Lahore and collaborator on interfaith justice and peace initiatives with the Catholic Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue & Ecumenism in Lahore.

Other projects of the Special Commission will include the development of pastoral and preaching aids and of materials and programs designed to educate brothers of the Order about Islam and to prepare them for engagement in the various forms of Catholic-Muslim dialogue, in support of the Order’s General Constitutions (a. 95, §3) and Ratio Studiorum (aa. 70-74).