A priest and a rabbi walked into a room. The result of this meeting isn’t a punch line, but the sowing of seeds for a groundbreaking Lowcountry event.
At 7 p.m. Dec. 10, Congregation Beth Yam and Holy Family Roman Catholic Church will co-sponsor a first-of-its-kind event at Holy Family Church: a program to celebrate inter-religious shared aspirations and goals.
Rabbi Brad Bloom and Monsignor Joseph Hanley have brought members of the two congregations together to plan an event with the purpose of promoting a growing fellowship.
The program will include musical productions by David Kimball and Linda Hamilton, musical directors at Congregation Beth Yam and Holy Family Church.
Author and lecturer Dr. Shira I. Lander, director of Jewish Studies at Southern Methodist University, will provide the keynote address.
This program is part of a worldwide “journey of friendship” commemorating the 50th anniversary of nostra aetate (Latin for “in our time”). This document was a product of the Second Vatican Council and dealt with the relationship of the Catholic Church with all non-Christian religions.
It especially stands out as a landmark statement ending centuries of distrust and vilification between Jews and Catholics. In particular, it recommends mutual respect and understanding.
The document bluntly pronounces that Jews of the past or present are not to be charged with the passion or death of Jesus Christ. It stresses the historic and religious bond shared by Jews and Catholics. It urges friendly dialogue leading to mutual understanding of each other’s faith.
Rabbi Bloom and Msgr. Hanley hope that locals of all faiths will avail themselves of this uplifting and educational experience.
The event is free and includes a reception with refreshments. It promises to be an enjoyable and educational opportunity for attendees of all ages.
Holy Family Church is located at 24 Pope Ave., Hilton Head Island.
Jack Kroening is a member of Holy Family Catholic Church.