For more information contact: Linda Shaffer
Work: 816-501-2422  
Email: Linda Shaffer  

  Avila Hosts Interfaith Dialogue Meeting  
February 21 panel discussion will be open to the public
  Kansas City, MO    
February 4, 2010
Avila University in partnership with the Jewish Community Relations Bureau/American Jewish Committee (JCRB/AJC), Conception Abbey and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph will host an interfaith dialogue meeting entitled “Faith and Culture: Understanding the Roots of Religious Differences in Violent Times” at 3 p.m., Sunday, February 21, 2010, in Avila’s Whitfield Center.

Avila faculty, staff and students are welcome to attend, as is the general public. The panel discussion will be followed by a question-and-answer session and a reception.

Father Dennis McManus, Ph.D, Theologian to the Archbishop of New York; Consultant, Catholic-Jewish, Catholic-Muslim and Ecumenical Affairs, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; Visiting Professor, St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie, New York. , will moderate the panel discussion with three notable members of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities:

  • Imam Yahya Hendi, faculty member/Muslim chaplain, Georgetown University
  • Dr. Molly Marshall, president, Central Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Emily Soloff, associate director of interreligious & intergroup relations, American Jewish Committee

“Avila is honored to be hosting this important event,” said Dave Armstrong, director of mission effectiveness and campus ministries. “We hope the panel and discussion will lead to a greater understanding and acceptance of all traditions and people because we believe dialogue fosters a culture of non-violence and peace.”

Additionally, Fr. McManus and the panel members will participate in a Clergy Institute, beginning with a continental breakfast, at 8:30 a.m., Monday, February 22, in More Hall at St. Thomas More Parish, 11822 Holmes Rd., Kansas City, Mo., where the group will explore “Understood and Misunderstood: The Role of Faith and Culture in Inter-religious Dialogue.” Area clergy, pastoral workers and religious educators can learn more on attending this half-day morning session by contacting Carol Burton, JCRB/AJC, phone 913/327-8127.

For additional information on these events, please contact Rabbi Alan Cohen, JCRB/AJC, phone 913/327-8128.



Avila University is a private, co-educational, values-based liberal arts institution founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, offering undergraduate, graduate, and adult degree programs. Avila University is located at 119th and Wornall Rd in southwest suburban Kansas City, Mo.