The Palmerston North Interfaith Group in collaboration with the Palmerston North City Council facilitated a Religious Diversity Celebration Day last month. The theme was ‘Care of the Earth’ with a focus on our collective and sacred responsibility.
The theme resonated with approximately 50 people who attended from Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, Baha’i, Sikh, Muslim, Hindu and Society of Friends religious communities. There were prayers and blessings from each community for the 300 native wetland plants planted at Pit Park.
The theme of reflecting of the care our common home resonates with Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si, which is an important priority for other faiths too.
For Catholics, interfaith dialogue is an important tenet of the faith, informed by the Vatican II document Nostra Aetate – ‘The Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions’. It focuses on what we have in common and draws us to fellowship. There is a Vatican Dicastery for Interfaith Dialogue (dicasteryinterreligious.va); and in Aotearoa New Zealand, the Catholic Bishops have mandated their Council for Interfaith Relations to work in this area.