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Hindu, Muslim and Jewish leaders bless Catholic high school students

.- An interfaith prayer service at a prominent Nevada Catholic high school brought together leaders from different denominations and religions to bless the students. While at the high school’s chapel, Bishop Randolph Calvo of Reno took the opportunity to bless the recently installed Episcopal bishop, Rt. Reverend Dan Thomas Edwards in preparation for his ministry.

Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist leaders gathered at Bishop Manogue High School in south Reno for the blessing ceremony.

“"We commit ourselves to persevere in constant prayer for unity within the human race, and through concrete gestures of reconciliation and dialogue to seek to bring forth peace in our world," they said.

The service was organized by Father Charles T. Durante, pastor of St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Community in Carson City.  He began the prayer service by invoking the Holy Spirit, saying "We start our prayer by recognizing that we are in God's presence."

A local rabbi performed a Hebrew recitation, while a Hindu chaplain recited Sanskrit slokas from the Rig-Veda.  There was also a Buddhist text reading, along with a reading from the Letter to the Thessalonians from an Episcopalian minister.  An imam also gave a reflection address quoting the Quran.

Imam Abdul Barghouthi of Northern Nevada Muslim Community, stated, "May God continue today the work of reconciliation begun by many great leaders of faith," while Chaplain Rajan Zed, the Hindu chaplain, said, "Whatever divides us might be overcome through wisdom, love and truth.”

Episcopalian, Lutheran, Methodist, Mormon and Presbyterian ministers also said prayers and addressed the students.

Father Mark Hanifan, the school’s Catholic chaplain, said to the attendees, "Let us seal our unity in prayer, in love and in the hope of one human race."

Students joined the clergy in singing “This Little Light of Mine.”

Rajan Zed also told CNA that an interfaith blessing of the new Episcopal Bishop of Nevada, the Right Reverend Dan Thomas Edwards, took place in the high school’s chapel.

Bishop Edwards reportedly was seated on a chair below the podium to receive the blessings of Most Rev. Randolph Calvo of the Diocese of Reno, a Jewish rabbi, Buddhist priest, Muslim imam and a Native American faith leader among others.

CNA attempted to contact the Bishop Calvo for comment, but no one was reached before press time.

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