In a remarkable interfaith gesture, Fifth Annual Catholic Diocesan Youth Rally held at Reno (Nevada, USA), involving Catholic teenagers from various parts of Nevada, heard from area Muslim-Hindu-Buddhist-Jewish leaders.
Catholic teenagers listened intently in the chapel of Bishop Manogue Catholic High School to Muslim imam Abdulrahim Barghouthi, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, Buddhist priest William S. Bartlett, and Jewish rabbi Teri E. Appleby, explaining the tenets of their respective faiths, highlighting similarities. It ended with recitation of Gayatri Mantra (most sacred mantra of Hinduism from the oldest scripture Rig-Veda, dating to around 1,500 BCE) by Zed.
Father Charles T. Durante, Pastor of Saint Teresa of Avila Catholic Community of Carson City, who coordinated the interfaith event, said that in order to truly live in peace and harmony; we must strive to understand others. Bishop Randolph R. Calvo, in his message, said, "May this day be a real source of joy", while Monique Jacobs, Director of Youth Ministry, called it a "day filled with opportunities to see, hear and meet God in each other." Doug Stewart was the Director of the Rally.
About 400 participated in this Rally, where workshops were held on "The Church, Sex, and Teens", "Spirituality", "Rosary Making", "Lies Young Women/Men Believe", "Following Jesus: A Dangerous Adventure", "Self image and image of God", "Gang Prevention, etc. Josh Blakesly, well known composer from Louisiana, was the keynote speaker of the Rally, which also included music, dance, skits, mass with Bishop Calvo, etc.
Rajan Zed has congratulated the Catholic Diocese efforts of exposing their youth to other religions.
"Religion is a complex component of human life. Dialogue helps us to see interconnections and interdependencies between religions and even similarities in doctrines," Zed adds. (ANI)