Rome (Italy). From 9 to 11 February 2024, the Missions Sector of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, with members of the Global Missio Team, animated the online formation meetings for the Provincial Coordinators of the Missions and for the missionaries ad gentes of all the Provinces of the world, foreseen by the six- year programming 2022-2027 of the General Council.

“Interreligious and Ecumenical Dialogue” was the theme of the meetings by continents, developed through the interventions of Cardinal López Romero Cristóbal, Salesian of Don Bosco, Bishop of the Diocese of Rabat (Morocco); and Sister Soad Khalil, FMA of the Nazareth Community of Adolescent Jesus Province of the Middle East (MOR).

Sister Ruth del Pilar Mora, General Councilor for the Missions, in her initial greeting  asked some questions about the significance for the Institute of Interreligious and Ecumenical Dialogue and the need to rethink the Communities in which it is inserted, aware of the relationships to be established with people of other confessions or other Christian denominations.

Sister Ruth, taking up a quote from Gianfranco Bottoni, Head of Ecumenism and Dialogue of the Archdiocese of Milan, cited this passage, “Carlo Maria Martini in 2000 recalled that Mother Teresa of Calcutta, questioned on her relationship with other religions, replied that she ‘loved’ all religions, but remained ‘in love’ with hers, that is, with the Gospel of Jesus which is the heart of the Christian faith.

Here I believe, is to seek in this direction the interreligious relationship on the Christian side. If you do not know how to love others with their religious and cultural differences, it is because you are not in love with Jesus Christ and His message. And those who are in love with Him can follow the Master on the path of evangelical hospitality. It would be a radically new way of thinking and implementing mission and dialogue. New for the secular history of Christianity, but faithful to the original inspiration of the novelty of the Christian event.”

With their testimony, Card. López Romero Cristóbal and Sister Soad Khalil transmitted the passion for the Kingdom of God articulated through a humble, discreet presence that loves the other as the other is.

The Cardinal spoke of the experience of interreligious dialogue that daily lives in Morocco, specifically between Islam and Christianity, through four characteristics, the first concerning relationships. “The first thing I would like to say is that dialogue is neither a fashion nor a strategy. It is not that we dialogue to attract people into our circles, but that we live it as a profound experience of faith. When we speak of interreligious dialogue, we must not think primarily of congresses, meetings, theological discussions in which there are some Muslims and some Christians. Rather, it is something that is lived in daily life.”

“The second dimension is the dialogue of the works, that is, working together. Working together to make human rights a reality; for the promotion of women, for the abolition of child labor, in the educational, social, health, cultural fields… A world that for us Christians is the Kingdom of God; for Muslims it would be the world that God wants or the will of God put into practice.

A third dimension is the dialogue of faith, the dialogue of God or of religious experience, which consists in sharing what everyone lives. How do you pray, as I pray? Finally, the fourth characteristic is prayer, the mystical dimension. Praying together, even if each in their own way. Interreligious dialogue, and dialogue, is the way we can proclaim today.”

Sister Soad – who chose as her motto for her life, “God is love”- begins her testimony by saying that “dialogue begins with my relationship with God” and that “loving the other as he/she is respecting them for what they are, does a lot.” And she continues, “In my life, I always look for the things that unite and not that divide. Therefore, I must and we must sow peace, without looking at race or color or religion.” Speaking of the School of Nazareth, with 1400 students, half Christians and half Muslims, she says, “Truly here we live as in a family, fraternally, with respect, accepting the other as he/she is.”

The encounters were lively and attended with keen interest by about 300 FMA from all continents, always happy to meet each other.

Once again, several communities chose the moment of animation of the Sector as a time for ongoing community missionary formation.

The participants, who expressed the desire to meet more often, given that these times revive the missionary passion of the “da mihi animas coetera tolle”, expressed their gratitude for the input of reflection received, with the desire to continue the mission feeling beside them the presence of Mary Help of Christians. A mission that, before teaching, animating, and proposing activities, is to be signs, witnesses, and bearers of God’s love for young people.


  1. Gracias por Educarnos al respeto de la persona… El dialogo es un Puente para encontrarnos y caminar… Y cultivar una sana convivencia… Sor Aida


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