Vatican appointment for JPII Leader Sister Gracy Vadakara and updates on her interreligious projects

Sister Gracy Vadakara (Cohort II, India), Provincial of the Daughters of the Church based in Karnataka, India, has always been an active promoter of interreligious dialogue. Over the years she received some JPII Leaders Grants which allowed her congregation which is running many schools in India to invest in interreligious dialogue formation of youngsters and training. Sister Gracy was also recently appointed by the Dicastery for the Promotion of Christian Unity to join the Joint Working Group between the Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches for the period 2023-2030. This is a prestigious task and we are proud of her mandate.

Next to this ecumenical engagement, Sister Gracy is continuing to strengthen the interfaith dimension in the schools run by her congregation. She writes to us about the achievement in the Jyothidhara School which “recently took a significant step towards promoting harmony and understanding among its students and teaching staff. The school, recognizing the importance of interreligious dialogue and fostering unity in diversity, embarked on a multifaceted journey by furnishing an interreligious library, organizing a conference on world religions, and hosting quiz and essay competitions on the theme “unity in diversity”.” 

The creation of the interreligious library was part of a JPII Leader project that was funded through our John Paul II Center for Interreligious Dialogue. Now Sister Gracy updates us: “Students and teaching staffs now have the opportunity to explore and understand the richness and diversity of different faith traditions. This endeavor not only promotes religious literacy but also encourages mutual respect and appreciation for the beliefs of others.”

The school organized as well a moment of interreligious prayer that was attended by all children and teaching staff belonging to various religious communities (Hindus, Christians, Muslims).

Sister Gracy was also the main speaker of a conference on world religions that aimed to provide a platform for open discussions and provide knowledge to the participants. Some more activities were planned after that: “In an effort to actively involve the students, a quiz competition focusing on World Religions was conducted. The competition challenged participants to demonstrate their understanding of the common threads that connect people of different backgrounds,” she says. An Essay Competition to express perspectives for the Teaching staff and a poster competition for the students completed the wide range of opportunities offered to the school to explore more deeply the vast field of dialogue.

“Jyothidhara School’s initiatives exemplify a commitment to nurturing a culture of understanding and respect. These efforts are not only shaping the minds of the current generation but also sowing the seeds for a future where unity in diversity is celebrated as a fundamental strength of society,” Sister Gracy concludes.