In a remarkable interfaith gesture,
This interfaith panel in the annual conference titled “We Do
This Together” and organized by Roman Catholic Diocese of Reno, also compared,
contrasted, and commented on similarities and differences between Christianity,
Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Judaism and related stories about “the good that
can and does happen when we work together within the diversity of our faith
Father Charles T. Durante, Pastor of Saint Teresa of Avila
Catholic Community of Carson City, facilitated this dialogue, and the
interfaith panel explored the obstacles in interfaith dialogue and how to
overcome those successfully and work together for the common good.
Besides Durante, the participants included Episcopal Rector
Emeritus Reverend V. James Jeffrey, Northern Nevada Muslim Community President
Dr. Sherif A. Elfass, Universal Society of Hinduism President Rajan Zed, Reno
Buddhist Center Priest Jikai’ Phil Bryan, and Temple Sinai Reno Rabbi Teri
Appleby. About 200 Catholics were in the audience at this panel discussion,
which was concluded with Zed’s Gayatri Mantra, most sacred mantra of Hinduism,
and Durante’s Catholic prayer.
Rajan Zed has congratulated the Catholic Diocese efforts in
reaching out to other religions for a dialogue. “Religion is a complex
component of human life. Dialogue helps us to see interconnections and
interdependencies between religions and even similarities in doctrines,” Zed
Besides interfaith dialogue, this two-day Roman Catholic
conference which concluded on January 14
also included workshops on marriage, digital storytelling, partnership
with God, Catholic household, helping teens to pray, unity in New Testament,
threat of cyberbullying, Latino theology, negotiating society’s tensions,
parent-teen communication, healing after abortion, etc.; besides an exhibition.
Monique Jacobs was the Director. This annual dialogue tradition would continue
in the coming years, Durante added.
Catholic Diocese of Reno, established in 1931, covers 70,852
square miles spread in eleven Nevada counties in addition to Carson City.
Before 1840, this area was under the Diocese of Sonora in Mexico, when it came
under the jurisdiction of Bishop Moreno of California. Current Bishop is Most
Reverend Randolph R. Calvo.
Details of the picture attached: After the interfaith dialogue, religious leaders from left to right
are—Sherif A. Elfass, Jikai’ Phil Bryan, Teri Appleby, Rajan Zed, V. James
Jeffery and Charles T. Durante.
Picture by: Debbie McCarthy