“Indeed, God commands justice, doing good to others, as well as courtesy to close relatives. He forbids indecency, wickedness, and aggression. He instructs you so perhaps you will be mindful.” (16:90 )            “For every day on which the sun rises, there is a (reward from God) for the one who establishes justice among people.” (al-Bukhari)            “And thus have We willed you to be a community of the middle way, so that [with your lives] you may bear witness to the truth before all humankind. . .” (2:143)            “Dispensers of justice will be seated on pulpits of light beside God.” (Muslim)            “Do not spread corruption in the land after it has been set in order. And call upon Him with hope and fear. Indeed, Allah’s mercy is always close to the good-doers.” (7:56)           “Even an ant in its hole and fish (in the depth of water) invoke blessings on someone who teaches people goodness.” (al-Tirmidhi)            “O believers! Remain conscious of God, and be with those who are truthful in word and deed.” (9:119)           “God does not judge you according to your bodies and appearances, but He looks into your hearts and observes your deeds.” (Muslim)            “The parable of those who spend their possessions for the sake of God is that of a grain out of which grow seven ears, in every ear a hundred grains: for God grants manifold increase unto whom He wills; and God is infinite, all-knowing.” (2:261)           “Charity does not diminish wealth.” (Riyadh al-Salihin)            “Let there be a group among you who call ˹others˺ to goodness, encourage what is good, and forbid what is evil-it is they who will be successful.” (3:104)           “Avoid cruelty and injustice...and guard yourselves against miserliness, for this has ruined nations who lived before you.” (Riyadh al-Salihin)            “Do not forget to show kindness to each other. Surely God observes your actions.” (2:237)           “(Allah) has revealed to me that you should adopt humility so that no one oppresses another.” (Riyadh al-Salihin)            “It is We who sent down this Reminder (al-Quran) and it is We who shall preserve it.” (15:9)           “The best among you are those who learn the Quran and teach it (to others).” (al-Bukhari)            “So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me.” (2:152)           “There are two blessings that many people lose -- health and free time for doing good.” (al-Bukhari)            “Say: 'O My servants who have transgressed against your own souls, do not despair of God's mercy, for God forgives all sins. It is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.'“(39:53)           “Happy is the man who avoids dissension, but how fine is the man who is afflicted and shows endurance.” (Abu Dawud)            “And you love wealth with immense love.” (89:20)           “Being rich does not mean having a great amount of property, but (it) is being content (with what one has).” (al-Bukhari)            “Every soul is held in pledge for its deeds.” (74:38)           “Make things easy and convenient and don't make them harsh and difficult. Give cheer and glad tidings and do not create hatred.” (al-Bukhari & Muslim)           

Fr. Day Pledges Continued Interfaith Undertanding Effort

DETROIT – Fr. Jeffrey Day assured area religious leaders on March 10 of his own and Archbishop Allen Vigneron’s commitment to continue the work of fostering respect and cooperation between the Catholic Church and other faith communities.

“Archbishop Vigneron wants to continue what Cardinal (Adam) Maida did, what the late Fr. John West and Msgr. (Patrick) Halfpenny did,” Fr. Day said, referring to his predecessors as ecumenical/interfaith advisor for the Archdiocese of Detroit.

Archbishop Vigneron named Fr. Day to the position in January, in addition to his continuing duties as pastor of St. Sebastian Parish in Dearborn. Fr. Day spoke of his long admiration for the ecumenical and interfaith work of Pope John Paul XXIII during his remarks at a get-acquainted recepti on at Sacred Heart Major Seminary.

“One of the things I admire about John XXIII is how he forged strong relationships with people of faith no matter where his assignments took him,” he said, referring to the pontiff’s career as a Vatican diplomat even before his election as pope.

And referring to the generally good ecumenical and interfaith relations prevailing in metro Detroit, Fr. Day added, “While those of us gathered here have our theological differences, we can be grateful that we can come together in the spirit of mutual respect.”

And he expressed the desire that people of different faiths in this area would continue “to live together in peace.” The reception was attended by about 20 local faith leaders, including representatives of other Christian faith communities and Muslims and Jews.

Imam Stephen Elturk, one of the Muslim clerics at the reception, said, “Generally speaking, interfaith efforts have improved quite a bit over the years.”

Whereas the early years of interfaith dialogue tended to involve each participant primarily seeking to express what his own faith community believes, the imam said the dialogue is now more focused on “trying to solve issues in the community and what we can do together.” “As Fr. Day said, regardless of our theological differences, we should put that aside and concentrate on ways we can work together,” said Imam Elturk, of the Islamic Organization of North America in Warren.

Catholic-Jewish relations are going very well in the Detroit area, said Robert Cohen, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council.

“In the five years I’ve worked here, I’ve been very impressed by the close and affectionate relations between the two communities,” he said.

As to ecumenical relations – that is, among Christians – there was also a positive assessment given by faith leaders at the reception.

Metropolitan Nicholas, the local Greek Orthodox bishop, said Catholic-Orthodox relations locally have “always been very gracious” and characterized by a “mutual spirit of love and respect.”

The metropolitan said he had known Archbishop Vigneron from his earlier time in Detroit as an auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese and attended his installation as archbishop. “I look on him as a brother,” he said, adding that he intends to discuss possible joint projects with him.”

Episcopal Bishop Wendell Gibbs said relations between the local Episcopal diocese and the Archdiocese of Detroit have been good. “I look forward to getting to know the archbishop,” he added.

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