On Sunday November 6, 2016 the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii in collaboration with Harran Productions Foundation was pleased to present ‘The Compassionate Heart: Sounds of Faith in Music Poetry and Prayers for Peace.
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Welcome from The Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii
Crossing the threshold from everyday moments, we gather to pray. While we may not pray the same
prayer together, together we pray, in our own languages and traditions. Welcome to this extraordinary encounter of prayerful people as we raise our hearts and our voices in compassion and peace – for the world. Pope Francis enthusiastically encourages Catholics to get to know people of other religions and "to look upon and treat each person as a true sister or brother." We gather with respect for one another’s traditions and beliefs. We listen to the prayers of our brothers and sisters, different from us, and honor their heartfelt convictions. We acknowledge that for centuries, all major religions have been teaching what has become known as the Golden Rule - do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Let us listen and let our hearts be moved. As we do, we become peace. May this interreligious encounter of music, poetry and prayer remind us of our common humanity and our deep desire to live together in love and peace. In the words of Pope Francis, let us be “seeds of peace” for the world. Thank you for making a pilgrimage to the Shrine today. We are blessed by your presence in this sacred space dedicated to the Virgin Mary, Queen of the Holy Rosary.
Rev. Richard N. Fragomeni, Ph.D. Susan M. Pudelek, M.Div.
Rector Director of Pilgrimage Ministry
Welcome from Harran Productions Foundation
My personal journey and fascination with sound, rhythm and movement began five decades ago as a young Muslim physician at St. Mary of Nazareth Hospital on Chicago’s West Side. Every morning I was awakened by one of the Sisters of the Holy Family knocking at my door, saying quietly: “Doctor, time for Mass, 5 o’clock!” Sitting in the chapel, listening to the profound beauty of the sisters’ chanting their prayers in Latin, I was moved in the depths of my heart to recall the recitation of the Holy Qur’an. The sacred sounds of the Catholic Sisters moved me into my own moments of prayer. Catholic sounds resonating in the Chapel, and Muslim sounds resonating in my heart. It did not blur important differences but convinced me ever more deeply of our common bond as one human family. I had the rare experience of sound connecting me to others and more deeply to my most authentic self—all at the same time and in the same place. I was awed and transformed, and longed to share this experience with my fellow human beings.
Sound is a profound medium and plays a key role in the physical and spiritual journey of the individual throughout life. It is the sound of our mother’s heartbeat and voice that first awakened each of us to the existence of another in relationship with us. Moving out of the womb and into the wider world we cry and learn language to communicate with the world around us. The music we make is a symphony of the human spirit in response to the awesome symphony of nature. We find our center by listening in silence to the simple sound of our own breath. Breathing in and out is the rhythm of life, shared by every living-being. Sounds of Faith
is a paradigm for experiential interreligious learning. It focuses on learning about one another’s faith by drinking in both the aesthetic and spiritual beauty of our sacred sounds that serve as means of cultivating a compassionately peaceful coexistence for all. As Harran Board Members, Scott Alexander, Matthew Dean, Zia Hassan, Lenore Mass, Rabbi Michael Zedek, our advisors, supporters and friends and I, thank you for being a part of this amazing journey.
Shakeela Z. Hassan, MD