Hartford Parish Celebrates “A Common Word” Letter

HNP Communications Around the Province

HARTFORD, Conn. –Nearly 100 people gathered Dec. 4 at the Franciscan Center for Urban Ministry at St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish here to celebrate receipt of A Common Word Between Us and You.

The letter, from Muslim religious leaders to Christian religious leaders, said: “Muslims and Christians together make up well over half of the world’s population. Without peace and justice between these two religious communities, there can be no meaningful peace in the world. The future of the world depends on peace between Muslims and Christians.”

The letter was celebrated by placing the Qur’an and the Bible on the table in front of the group, followed by a welcome and word of thanks to the Muslim community. A Muslim prayer of praise of God and Francis of Assisi’s Praises of God were said, along with reading quotes from the letter. 

Dr. Ingrid Mattson, a signer of the letter and professor at Hartford Seminary, explained how the letter came about, and its importance. Following her comments, complementary texts from the Qur’an and the Bible were read and discussed. 

Over several years, The Women of Hope, a ministry of St. Patrick-St. Anthony, and Muslim women have developed a trusting relationship. 

“It is through this relationship that it was possible to draw together people of both religions, who believe that our God calls us to peace and to love one another,” wrote Steven Pavignano, OFM. “This letter invites believers in both religions to live the true message of our faiths, which has at times been intentionally misunderstood or misrepresented.”

The gathering was concluded by sharing water and homemade ethnic breads and fellowship.