First new friary in Turkey since Istanbul
A new friary in the Turkish city of Izmir represents the hope of several friars to witness to the Gospel, promote ecumenical and interreligious dialogue and dialogue with Turkish culture, according to a report Wednesday by the Fides news agency.
It is the first new Franciscan community in Turkey since the establishment of one in Istanbul, an hour by air to the north. But its planning goes back to 1995, when then-minister general Father Hermann Schalück and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, who resides in Istanbul, discussed the formation of an international Franciscan presence. In the following years the first fraternity for ecumenical and interreligious dialogue in Istanbul was formed.
Among the annual activities envisioned are celebrations of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, exchange and visits to Muslims during Ramadan, a permanent formation course on ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, and an interfaith prayer meeting in the spirit of the Assisi meetings that were called by Pope St. John Paul II.
With a population of some 2.8 million people, Izmir is Turkey’s third most populous city, after Istanbul and Ankara, the capital. The friars may have a chance to see the flow of migrants and refugees trying to get to Europe, as the city is close to the Aegean Sea.
Since you are here…
…we’d like to have one more word with you. We are excited to report that Aleteia’s readership is growing at a rapid rate, world-wide! Our team proves its mission every day by providing high-quality content that informs and inspires a Christian life. But quality journalism has a cost and it’s more than ads can cover. We want our articles to be accessible to everyone, free of charge, but we need your help. To continue our efforts to nourish and inspire our Catholic family, your support is invaluable. Become an Aleteia Patron today for as little as $3 a month. May we count on you?