Welcome to the Secular Franciscan Order - USA Ecumenical / Interfaith Committee Network
Spring Newsletter
"Our vision is to educate and to raise the awareness of our Franciscan sisters and brothers in the United States to the ecumenical and interfaith movements in the Church."
Imam Mohamad Bashar Arafat
to the Ecumenical / Interfaith Committee
We are most grateful for Imam Arafat's presence on the Secular Franciscan Order - USA
Ecumenical / Interfaith Committee. (OFS-USA-EIC)

Imam Arafat serves as the president of the Islamic Affairs Council of Maryland and the president of the Civilizations Exchange & Cooperation Foundation.  He earned his reputation as a scholar and teacher of Islamic spirituality through his formal education at Damascus University and his dedication to pursue a true understanding and relationship with Allah.  This dedication has led him to extensive involvements with many national and international interfaith organizations that work to bring people together to create a world in which peace and cooperation is the goal. As of January 2005, Imam Arafat began conducting programs on Islam in America through the International Speakers Program of the United States Department of State in more than 25 countries. He is currently teaching at Notre Dame of Maryland University.

For more on Imam Mohamad Bashar Arafat please hit the link below.
Imam Arafat's Spring 2017 TAU-USA Newsletter Article

What is Islam?
The Arabic word “Islam” literally means “surrender” or “submission.” Islam, as a faith, means total and sincere surrender to God so that one can live in peace and tranquility.  The Arabic word “salam” means “peace” and the phrase “assalamu alaikum” means “peace be with you”, which is the greeting of Muslims around the world. This peace is achieved through active obedience to the revealed commandments of God, and by following the teachings of His prophet, Muhammad, the son of Abdullah, who was born in Makkah in 570 AD. 
It was not Muhammad, but Adam, who first brought Islam to humanity. Then, each prophet and messenger came to exhort the people to a clear understanding of God’s commandments.  They offered teachings relevant to their time until God chose the final prophet, Muhammad, to come with the Last Testament referred to as the Qur’an. It is the Muslim’s holy book that speaks in detail regarding five of the twenty-five recognized prophets and who are considered to be the chief prophets of authority: Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. 

Hit the link below to read the rest of Imam Arafat's article
Secular Franciscans Learn the Similarities between our Faith and Islam
by Don Watkins OFS

St. Irenaeus Fraternity recently joined with  neighboring St. Bonaventure Fraternity, ( St. Kateri Tekakwitha Region) to learn about the similarities between our two faiths. Don Watkins, OFS published an article about that experience on the web. This same article will be published in Franciscan Connections which is a journal of the Franciscan Institute at St. Bonaventure University. The Fraternity also is reaching out to the Olean, New York area Islamic Community and has expressed a desire for the fraternity to visit their mosque. 

Check out Don's article below

What is "The Joint Committee on Franciscan Unity"?

"The Joint Committee on Franciscan Unity is a committee made up of two representatives each from the Third Order Society of St. Francis, Province of the Americas (TSSF, Anglican Communion), the Order of Ecumenical Franciscans (OEF), and the Secular Franciscan Order (OFS, Latin and Eastern Rite Communion). This committee was formed with the hope and goal of bringing together Christians of various lineages who seek to follow the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in the footsteps of St. Francis."  

Does your regional fraternity already have an OFS - Ecumenical/Interfaith representative working with your regional council?

Does your local fraternity have an OFS - Ecumenical / Interfaith representative working with your local fraternity council?  

If yes, please help us connect.
If no, why not? 

If you're interested in becoming a member of the OFS-USA-EIC Network, just send me a note. 

Please send us your Ecumenical/Interfaith related articles/stories, photos and event information as well as any suggestions or comments. 

If we can help in any way, regionally or locally please let us know.

Peace be with you


Desk - 313-309-1277  
E-mail - mikecars10@gmail.com
Web Site - ofsusaecumenicalinterfaith.org
Facebook - @OFSUSAEIC
Twitter - @Ofs_Usa_Eic
OFS-USA Ecumenical / Interfaith Committee
Imam Mohamad Bashar Arafat (CC)
Mike Carsten OFS - Chair
Rabbi Dorit Edit (CC)
Donna Hollis OFS