The Bishop Welcomes the Sheik

By Rev Dr Patrick McInerney, 8 October 2018
Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv and Sheikh Mosaad Issa at Parramatta Mosque. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.


Bishop Vincent welcomes Sheikh Mosaad to Parramatta

On the afternoon of Tuesday 2nd October, Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, visited the Parramatta Mosque to welcome the newly-appointed full-time Imam, Sheikh Mosaad Issa.

Rev Dr Patrick McInerney and Ryan Epondulan, the Director and Youth & Networking Coordinator respectively of the Columban Centre for Christian-Muslim Relations, accompanied the bishop and introduced the two religious leaders to each other.

The Christian leaders felt it was very important that the Bishop of Parramatta and Imam of Parramatta meet and get to know each other as fellow religious leaders working in the same area and find ways of cooperating together on matters of common concern.

VIEW: Images from the Mosque visit below or click here

We arrived in time for midday prayers.

After removing our shoes, we took our seats at the back of the mosque. The bishop was impressed that the numbers attending midday prayer were more than those attending weekday Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral!

RELATED: Blessing of the Columban Centre for Christian-Muslim Relations

We witnessed the devotion of the Muslim worshippers and prayed in our hearts as a gesture of Christian solidarity.

The Imam welcomed us from the pulpit and encouraged the congregation to do likewise.

Some of them greeted us very warmly on their way out and sincerely thanked us for visiting the mosque.

After the prayers were over, there were formal introductions of the bishop, the imam and the president of the mosque. Then we adjourned to an adjacent room where a light lunch had been prepared.

VIEW: Images from the Mosque visit below or click here

Over the meal, the bishop and the imam shared their experiences in serving their religious communities and the challenges that they have encountered.

Mr Neil El-Kadomi, President of Parramatta Mosque, expressed his gratitude to Archbishop Vincent (he gave the bishop a promotion!) that a highly respected leader of the local Catholic Church was willing to visit the mosque in order to establish positive ties with the local Muslim community.

Bishop Vincent and the staff of the Columban Centre for Christian-Muslim Relations were very grateful for the welcome and hospitality we received and look forward to interfaith collaboration in the future.


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