Silsilah marks 27th founding anniversary with hope to spread dialogue movement PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 14 May 2011 15:46

The Silsilah Dialogue Movement gathered some 300 members, alumni, and friends to mark its 27th founding anniversary Monday at the Silsilah Auditorium in Harmony Village, Zamboanga City.

In her message, Zenaida T. Lim, Vice President of the Silsilah Foundation Inc. recounted how the movement changed her life as a person and grow in relationship with other people of different religions and cultures.

“Over the many years, I have spent with the peace movers of Silsilah, I have witnessed the difference…where before we viewed each other with the eyes of suspicion and hatred, we now express our views in terms of what we can do together to erase centuries-old social irritants between groups,” Lim said.

The year 2011 is also significant for the Silsilah Dialogue Movement as it also marks the 25th year offering of the Silsilah Summer Course on Muslim-Christian Dialogue. To mark this milestone, alumni of past summer courses also gathered for the homecoming.

The occasion also launched a book entitled “25 and Counting”, which contains a directory of the nearly 2000 Muslim and Christian students who have participated in the 25 summer courses over the years and the resource persons involved.

The book also contains reflections of alumni on their experiences of dialogue and how their perspectives of inter-religious relations have been influenced by their having been a student of the summer course.

The occasion also gave tribute to the advocates of dialogue who were “sacrificed on the altar of peace through brutal killings”, namely: Fr. Salvatore Carzedda, PIME; Fr. Rhoel Gallardo, CMF; and Fr. Reynaldo Jesus Roda, OMI.

The gathering at the auditorium experienced a program of musical numbers, testimonies and wistful recollections of those who have advocated for peace and dialogue.

Sr. Agatha Nguyen, LSJ., a Vietnamese who is attending the 2011 summer course, expressed her heartfelt thanks for the wonderful experience of spending a week-end with a Muslim family as part of the immersion experience provided to the summer course participants.

Fr. Hermes Larry Sabud, SM. sang his original composition “Life-in-dialogue, it’s possible, it’s happening!,” which inspires listeners to a life of dialogue.

Silsilah said the celebration Monday was a clear manifestation that peace is possible in the world and in Mindanao, if those with brave and loving hearts will live and promote the Culture of Dialogue as path to peace.

Silsilah is a dialogue movement promoting deeper understanding and better relations between Muslims and Christians, and together, with people of other faiths and traditions.

According to its website, the Silsilah Dialogue Movement was founded officially on May 9, 1984 in Zamboanga City by Fr. Sebastiano D’Ambra, PIME born out of his experience of violence and war in the 1970’s while on his first Philippine mission in Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte.