Fr. Celestine Muonwe

  • Country: Nigeria
  • Cohort: XII

Fr. Celestine’s interest in interreligious dialogue sparked during his seminary days when during his six-week apostolic work, he visited the homes of Catholics, Protestants, and members of the indigenous African Traditional Religion. He continued with this practice after his ordination in 2011 and in 2013 he was sent by his Bishop as Fidei Donum to Mali. It was during these three years that he first encountered Muslims. In order to learn more about the religion, he enrolled for a one-year program at the Institut de Formation Islamo-Chrétienne (IFIC), which is a center for formation in Christian and Muslim dialogue in Bamako, Mali. Before the end of the year he was offered a scholarship by the Institute to continue his studies at the Pontifical
Institute for Islamic and Arabic Studies (PISAI) in Rome. Here he had the opportunity to complete a research project he began in Bamako on Boko Haram, resulting in a publication entitled Islam Beyond Extremism: A Perspective, which has since generated interest in Nigeria and has sold over 1,000 copies.