It's time to clear out some fall calendar space to make room for the events coming up that, together, will make up this year's Festival of Faiths in Kansas City.
After last night's first event -- a Christian-Jewish conversation -- the next event will bring in this year's keynote speaker, author Bruce Feiler, who will speak at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 19, at Village Presbyterian Church. His topic will be "Can We Talk? Religion and Civil Dialogue in America." After he speaks, I'll help moderate a Q&A session with him.
You may recall that Bruce was here several years ago to speak about one of his books on faith, and we had a good panel discussion with him. On his own Web site, to which I've linked you in the previous paragraph, you can read about all his books, including his latest one, The Council of Dads.
The day after Bruce speaks at Village, he'll join students at Notre Dame de Sion High School for some information conversation. Sion has been a leader in this area in getting students active in interfaith dialogue.
There are five other events that will be part of this year's festival, including the annual Table of Faiths luncheon on Nov. 11. I hope you'll take a long look at what's coming up and make plans to be at as many events as you can make.
The festival is a true gift to the Kansas City area, and it helps to further the goal of the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council to make Kansas City the most welcoming community in America to people of all faiths.
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A PAPAL TRIUMPH IN BRITAIN
Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum writes that Pope Benedict XVI's recent visit to the United Kingdom was a huge success. I mostly agree. And I agree that Applebaum is on to something when she notes that one reason B-16 got so much sympathetic attention there was that his critics unwisely went way, way over the top in slamming him and his visit. Sometimes protests help the side against which the protests are being lodged. The ridiculous attacks on the pope turned him into an underdog for whom people could root. By the way, this Australian observer agrees with the assessment that the pope's U.K. trip came off really well, and he lists the reasons he thinks so.
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P.S.: My latest column for The National Catholic Reporter now is online. To read it click here.