The National Catholic-Muslim Dialogue (NCMD) concluded its fourth annual meeting at the Chicago Theological Union on March 24-26, 2019. The current co-chairs of the dialogue are H.E. Cardinal Blase Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago, and Shaykh Abdool Rahman Khan, Chairman of the ICNA Shariah Council.
The topic for discussion was “Resourcing our Muslim and Catholic Communities.” Following a lead presentation by Ms. Maria Khani, Muslim educator and community leader of Southern California, the members gathered to discern how they might generate a supportive resource for our larger communities. After a fruitful conversation, several options were presented by members and the Co-Chairs created a small group that will generate a Best Practices project for presentation at the 2020 meeting. The dialogue members also participated in a group discernment process on a strategic plan for the NCMD ordered by the co-chairs at the 2018 meeting. This session was led by Dr. Scott Alexander and feedback was provided by members that will help the authors (Dr. Alexander and Dr. Kareem Irfan) develop the plan during the summer of 2019. A new task force was created by the co-chairs to continue this work and to bring the project to completion prior to the 2020 meeting. The new members of the task force are: Fr. Brian McWeeney, Dr. Sandra Keating, Dr. Hasnain Walji, and Dr. Waqas Syed. A public evening session was dedicated to reflection on A Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together, which was co-authored by Pope Francis and Ahmed Al-Tayyeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar. Keynote addresses on the document were delivered by Cardinal Cupich and Shaykh A.R. Khan, with panel response from members Dr. Rita George-Tvrtkovic, Dr. Sandra Keating, Dr. Zeki Saritoprak, and Dr. Anas Malik.
The next annual gathering will take place at 23-24 March, 2020 at the University of St Mary of the Lake, Mundelein Seminary, in Mundelein, Illinois.