INTER-RELIGIOUS DIALOGUE (IRD) CELL
The IRD Cell - SAC, Malwani was formed on 4th October, 2018 with the help of 8 team members, none of whom had any experience of doing IRD work under the guidance of our Parish Priest, Fr. Agnelo Fernandes & Stanley Fernandez was assigned the role of heading the team after completing both his BIRD & IMFE (IRD) courses.
The IRD cell currently has 8 members out of whom 2 have done their “Basics of Inter Religious Dialogue (BIRD)” course & they have been selected due to their being past SCC Co-coordinators (experience of working with people), Youth cell of the parish (working with Youth) & active members from the laity. Currently they have recruited 6 members additionally who are undergoing the 1 year BIRD Course which they will complete in March’2020.
The first major IRD Program was conducted on 4th Dec’18 involving speakers from 6 religious communities at the Mini Hall which was attended by @80 people. IRD Cell – SAC has also represented the Christian community in major Inter-Religious programs in Malwani conducted by other faiths (incl Fr. Agnelo as speaker in a huge IRD program in Malwani No.6 which was attended by 700 people).
Meanwhile as per our plan in 2019-20 we first start developing our relationships in Malwani with other religious communities. The current role of the SAC-IRD team is meeting other Religious Clergy (Shrines) Religious & Social NGOs, Community Leaders of other faiths, attending their programs based on invitations received from them or meeting them through contacts & learning + understanding the true realities of various religions & it's believers plus organizing programs for better understanding of the people that represent various religions of the area. Other members have shared these experiences in meetings & are currently given roles in Program handling.
Going forward - we would like the SAC-IRD Cell to be a forum of building relationships of respect, growing in understanding, expressing love & grace of our Christian message which is non-confrontational & open minded through creating common platforms to solve local issues & help each other succeed with an objective of fostering long term peace & harmony in Malwani. We would like to make the people of Malwani see us through our deeds and form a highly positive opinion of Christians as a loving & caring group of people not only among their community but the wider human community which constitutes every religious practitioner in the Malwani area.
Coordinator: Stanley Fernandez
Spiritual Director: Fr. Agnelo Fernandes