Our little Mosaic Faith Sharing Group started a couple years ago. We love to discuss issues relevant to our times. When the shooting at the Muslim Mosque in Quebec happened in January 2017 our hearts and prayers naturally flowed to our brothers and sisters of the Muslim faith. Much of Canada responded in kind. A suggestion from within our group was how we could in some small way reach out to our Muslim Community here in London. It started off with a tour and visit of the London Mosque on Oxford Street.
Since then another one of our members, Daniela Armenti, took it upon herself to organize a blood drive which could be done in partnership with our new friends at the London Muslim Mosque. The goal was simply to create fellowship and relationship in hopes of building community with the folks there. The experience was opened up to our family at St. George’s Parish and a presentation and sign-up sheet was set up before and after Masses.
So on Saturday January 20th, 2018, members from both communities of faith showed up at the London Blood Donor Clinic. Everyone greeted each other with big smiles. Some were seasoned veterans in giving blood and for others it was their first time. Imam Abd Alfatah Twakkal arrived with his lovely wife (Ashma). He was so excited to donate blood he asked Daniela’s daughter to take his picture. Of course one of the highlights of the event was to sit and chat with our new friends over coffee and cookies while the medical staff kept an eye on us ensuring none of us passed out. The Imam said he can’t wait for our next event.
From our experiences with our Muslim family we have learned that one thing we share is the love of God. We are all called to love one another as we love ourselves. Jesus did not put any conditions on this command. In coming together to provide the gift of life for others we did something in common on our journey to the Father. Too often in our present state of affairs we see what happens when relationship is not created and love withheld.
This was truly a beautiful event and we were truly moved. Thanks to all those from St. George Parish who showed up and donated their time and blood. The fruits of this event will continue to unfold into 2018 and beyond. You truly did cast out your nets into the deep waters.
(Paul is a member of the Parish MOSAIC faith sharing group. The group will start regular meetings again in February.)