Among the many interreligious activities undertaken in the years following the publication of the Second Vatican Council’s declaration on interfaith relations, those initiated by contemplative religious orders have been among the most successful and the most advanced. In France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Morocco and the United States, Christian monks and nuns meet and share life experiences with Buddhists, Hindus, and Shiite and Sufi Muslims. The film “Strangers No More,” produced by Lizette Lemoine and Aubin Hellot of “Films du Large” in Paris, highlights the work done by the international monastic organization Dialogue Interreligious Monastique/Monastic Interreligious Dialogue (DIMMID) for over 40 years. This program feature a screening of the film and a panel discussion with three Benedictines who have been active in the work of DIMMID.
S. Hélène Mercier, OSB, a sister of Saint Benedict's Monastery, is director of Initial Formation and of Women in First Monastic Profession at her monastery and executive director of the North American Papal Commission for Monastic Interreligious Dialogue.
Fr. Michael Peterson, OSB, a monk of Saint John’s Abbey and chaplain at the College of Saint Benedict, is president and chairman of the board of the North American Papal Commission for Monastic Interreligious Dialogue.
Fr. William Skudlarek, OSB, a monk of Saint John’s Abbey, is secretary general of Dialogue Interreligious Monastique/Monastic Interreligious Dialogue and associate editor of Dilatato Corde, an international journal rooted in the Christian monastic experience of interreligious dialogue.
Becky Van Ness, director of the spiritual direction program at Saint John's School of Theology and oblate of Saint Benedict's Monastery, attended the Gethsemani IV Encounter, May 2015, as a non-monastic participant and presenter.