By Deacon Steve Herrera
On March 22, Santa Teresa Parish sponsored an Interfaith Seder service led by Rabbi Laurie Hahn Tapper and the Pastor of Santa Teresa Parish, Father George Aranha.
Approximately 170 people from Santa Teresa, local Muslim communities and Jewish Synagogues participated in and Interfaith Passover Seder meal as a sign of our common commitment to fight Islamaphobia and anti-semitism. Each table had a variety of religious faiths represented as Jews, Muslims and Catholics broke bread together and got to know each other on a one to one basis.
The focus of this Interfaith Seder Service was ‘freedom from xenophobia. During these times of increasing anti-semitism and Islamaphobia, Santa Teresa is actively committed to peacebuilding and the promotion of interfaith understanding in order to manifest God’s kingdom in our society so that Christians, Jews, Muslims and all religious traditions are respected so that their adherents can live lives free from violence and discrimination.
Many participants commented how much they enjoyed meeting people of different faith traditions and that we should do these types of things more often.
The Interfaith Seder Service is one of the highlights of Santa Teresa’s interfaith work of the past several years. SAM the parish Social Justice Committee has sponsored talks by Rabbi’s, Muslims, Jains, Hindus, Mormons, Buddhists, as well as others. Spearheaded by Lynda Demanti, pastoral associate at Santa Teresa, the parish not only sings the song ‘All Are Welcome” but actively invites other faith traditions to join us in interfaith celebrations, social events and talks about each other’s religious tradition.