Christian, Muslim women to dialogue in Quad Cities

MOLINE — At a time of national debate over whether a Muslim community center should be built near ground zero in New York, as well as heightened tensions stemming from the threat of Quran burnings in Florida, Christian and Muslim women in the Quad Cities will come together to dialogue about their religious and family customs.

Sponsored by the Benedictine Sisters of St. Mary Monastery in Rock Island and Quad City Muslim Women, the fifth annual dialogue will take place at the Islamic Center of the Quad Cities, 6005 34th Ave., on Mondays, Sept. 20 and 27. Each 90-minute session begins at 7 p.m.

The theme for this year’s gatherings is “Sharing Our Global Cultures in the Quad City Community: Our Faith Perspective.”

“Because of the many divisive voices we have been hearing about the desire of a Muslim to build a community center in the ground zero area, the committee members felt they wanted to raise their voices in harmony and bring people together in this wonderful way of sharing religious rites and our family customs,” said Sister Catherine Cleary, OSB, a member of the planning committee. Also serving are Rosemary Schmitt, Cleon VanderVennet, Talia Alvi, Lisa Killinger and Farah Khan.

On Sept. 20, the women will look at “The Milestones of Faith,” sharing the meaning of weddings, funerals and burial rites. Participants will also discuss the sacrament of baptism and how Muslims celebrate the birth of baby and Shahadah, the rite of proclamation of faith.

“Sharing Our Holidays and Customs” is the topic for discussion on Sept. 27. Included in the dialogue will be the Christian celebrations of Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter, as well as such Muslim observances as Ramadan, with its 30-day fast, and Eid al Fitr.

The Muslim-Christian Women’s Dialogue is always planned for after Ramadan, which began on Aug. 11 and will end on Sept. 9 this year.
The evening sessions will open with a Muslim prayer and close with the Prayer of St. Francis. Following the presentations, there will be time for continuing discussion and refreshments.

There is no cost to attend, but a free will offering will be accepted. To register, call Jackie Walsh at (309) 283-2108 or send an e-mail to

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