If “7” is meant to be an auspicious number for Christians, then July 7 was another milestone for interreligious dialogue by the Assumption Church. The goodwill and rapport established during Ramadhan at the Iftar events hosted by both Masjid Jamek Sultan Abdul Aziz and the Assumption Church, Petaling Jaya on June 4 and 7 June respectively continued when the Masjid extended an invitation to parish priest Fr Gregory Chan and his parishioners to participate in a Majlis Silaturahim dan Jamuan Aidilfitri on the night of July 7.
The early comers were welcomed to the library as the function would commence at 9.00pm after Isyak prayers.
Later, the hosts invited all Assumption parishioners to the front row VIP tables giving us a perfect view of the stage. A mosque attendant assigned to the tables where we were seated brought us platters of traditional Malay cuisine.
We were inspired by an 11-year old Muslim girl who could recite the Al-Quran fluently. As July 8 was Bible Sunday, Fr Chan also called upon the congregation to emulate the example of the pre-teen by reading Scriptures in the Bible.
The well-organised event saw mosque officials distributing aid to underprivileged children, awards for top scorers and the much awaited duit raya.
Both holy houses having stood along Jalan Templer, Petaling Jaya for decades but we never became acquainted with each other. It just took a simple inter-faith buka puasa and the ice was broken.
Is our faith weakened by participating in interreligious events at either place of worship? On the contrary, no. We have more respect for one another, while deepening our own personal creed.
There are proposals to reciprocate the invitation to the Masjid to welcome them for the Assumption Feast Day celebrations or Christmas. Considering the generosity, warmth and hospitality extended to us by the Masjid hosts, Assumption parishioners have big shoes to fill to reciprocate our Muslim brothers and sisters in return.
Article reproduced from Herald Malaysia online