Muslim-Catholic women’s dialogue planned in Moline

For the last two years, the Muslim-Catholic Women’s Dialogue has been hosted by the Sisters of St. Benedict at St. Mary Monastery in Rock Island. This year, the Muslim women will welcome their Christian friends to the Islamic Center of the Quad Cities, 6005 34th Ave., Moline.

The first part of the dialogue, planned for Monday, Oct. 13, will invite the participants to consider “Mohammed and Jesus: Their Message.” Leading the discussion will be Dr. Talia Alvi and Sister Joan McCorkell, OCD, of the Discalced Carmelites of Eldridge, Iowa.

“Living Out Their Mission” is the topic for the second part of the dialogue, which will be held Monday, Oct. 20. The speakers for this evening are Lisa Zaynab Killinger and Cleon VanderVennet, a member of Sacred Heart Parish in Moline who started Friends of the People of Haiti with her late husband, Deacon Donald VanderVennet.

Both sessions will begin at 7 p.m. and include time for table discussions before concluding at 8:30 p.m. While this is a women’s initiative, men also are welcome.

Sister Catherine Cleary, OSB, who has moderated the dialogue for the last two years, said the need for this kind of interaction is ongoing.

“There’s a lot of erroneous information coming from the political scene,” she said about the Muslims and their beliefs.

“Jesus was a peacemaker. Mohammed was a peacemaker. The violence is coming from the fundamentalist perspective,” Sister Catherine told The Catholic Post. “Muslim is a peace-making faith.”

After learning about Jesus and Mohammed as leaders and men of peace, dialogue participants will have an opportunity to discuss how that can be seen as they cared for the sick and the poor, she said.

The sessions will take place in a conference room of the Islamic Center of the Quad Cities, not in the mosque. “They did not meet in our chapel and we will not meet in their sacred place,” Sister Catherine said.

To register for the Third Annual Muslim-Catholic Women’s Dialogue, contact Sister Charlotte Sonneville, OSB, by phone at (309) 283-2108 or by e-mail at

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