In life, we see beginnings as another opportunity to move forward. For the Silsilah Dialogue Movement, a new beginning is a fresh start to take courage and hope once again. It was but courage to dream that moved this then a small group of people in Zamboanga City to form a movement that sponsored an annual summer course on Muslim-Christian Dialogue – an effort that now has come to its 30th year. It was just a small beginning but a beginning that has spanned three decades of loving mission.
In celebrating the 30th year of the Silsilah Summer Course on Muslim-Christian Dialogue, the movement has launched the program Silsilah School of Mercy. Its theme has captured its very mission: Revisiting the teachings of Christianity and Islam in the Spirit of Mercy. Fr. Sebastiano D’Ambra, PIME, believes that it is a sign of the times for both religious and non-religious leaders particularly in the city of Zamboanga, to come together in the spirit of mercy to look for a common ground of understanding amidst the reality of differences between these two religions.
While divisions are caused by many other factors (societal, economic, political, cultural), religious differences are often seen as the main cause. The Silsilah School of Mercy aims to give light on this issue and extend to the wider public the awareness that we, as a society, can go beyond biases and prejudices.
The rationale of this program says: The Silsilah School of Mercy is designed to help Muslim and Christian leaders as well as leaders of other religious groups and different sectors of society in Zamboanga City to know each other better, respect the differences and rediscover that we have the same spiritual aspirations in the spirit of mercy and compassion. The “revisiting” of the basic elements of our religions together in the spirit of dialogue, will help participants to face the challenges of society as brothers and sisters created by the same God.
The program will run for eight Saturdays in the months of August and September this year. It will be held at 1:30 in the afternoon, Grand Astoria Hotel, Zamboanga City. Given the rationale above, Silsilah targets to invite participants, preferably leaders, from different schools, universities, colleges, government and non-government offices in Zamboanga City