Not your ordinary, everyday video. This one is for the ages!
That Benedictine welcomes people of diverse faiths and cultures is a cornerstone of our University. In the spirit of St. Benedict, we invite and encourage students of all faiths to converse and work together to discover their purpose, grow in their self-awareness and contribute to the common good.
With that mission in mind, we hope you will watch this video featuring Benedictine Professor Rita George-Tvrtković, Ph.D. with two students discussing impactful interreligious encounters they have experienced at Benedictine. Both students, Adeena Ahmed a junior who is majoring in biology, and Jenna Demas a junior majoring in sport and exercise science, concisely and articulately relate stories we hope you will find interesting and inspirational.
Where this video will ultimately live in addition to Benedictine’s website is very special, but first some background. In 1964 Pope Paul VI established a special office for relations with followers of other religions. That would become the Vatican’s Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue or DID. In late 2020, Pope Francis announced his appointment of 19 Consultors to the DID. His Consultors included scholars and expert practitioners from around the world.
Of the 19 consultors, there are only 6 women and 2 Americans. Professor George-Tvrtković is among the 6 women and 2 Americans. Again…there are only 19 members of the Vatican’s DID worldwide. And we have one of them among our faculty!
Recently, the DID requested videos from all of its Consultors. This video will be part of a series called “Stories of interreligious dialogue” on the Vatican website. What an honor for Professor George-Tvrtković and Benedictine University! Find the series here: https://bit.ly/3HLVcK0.
Professor George-Tvrtković’s experiences as a Consultor include participating in two in-person meetings in Rome which included Pope Francis himself. The first meeting was a plenary assembly of the Consultors and Bishops, and the second was an all-women’s conference that brought together global women leaders of interreligious dialogue from 12 different religions.
Other activities include offering feedback on various DID document drafts, planning events, writing articles for Pro Dialogo (the Vatican’s academic journal on interreligious dialogue) and participating in monthly meetings with women leaders in the global interreligious network.
It is Professor Rita George-Tvrtković’s work with the global women’s network that got her thinking about how to encourage more female student leadership in interreligious dialogue on the Benedictine campus, hence the events Jenna and Adeena mentioned in this video.