Visit of Missionary Sisters of Immaculate Heart of Mary
ICM x DDM Interfaith Dialogue
On 13 October 2013, a group of 14 members from the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (also known as the ICM Sisters) led by General Superior Sr Saveria Jeganathan and General Councilor Sr Tellie Lape from ICM Generalate in Rome, Italy, as well as Superior Sr Teresita Enriquez and Sr Vicky Palanca from Taiwan, visited Dharma Drum Mountain World Education Center and met Venerable Guo Guang, Director-in-chief and Vice Dean of DDM Sangha University, Venerable Guo Kae, Director of the Sangha Education Department and Venerable Guo Jiann, Director of Department of International Relations and Development for an interreligious dialogue.
ICM Sisters are missionary leaders who have been based in Asia including India, the Philippines, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Mongolia for many years. They showed their interest in the differentiation of religious traditions of Buddhism and Islam seen throughout the majority of Asia. Some of the sisters have also had experience with meditation practice from different traditions of Buddhism and Hinduism. They took the opportunity of attending an ICM Asian regional meeting in Taiwan and visiting DDM to foster a deeper understanding of Chinese Buddhism.
During the visit, they watched the DDM introductory video clip and experienced basic Chan meditation. In the inter-religious dialogue, both parties exchanged thoughts on monastic life and work, including topics such as becoming a Buddhist nun and the system of deployment of missionary sisters. The sisters also shared their experiences of serving in foreign countries. Their spirit and broad-minded approach of ‘going out into the world’ were admired by the Sangha nuns.
A sister said that Master Sheng Yen’s words of wisdom are easily understood and not specific to any particular religion – she herself has benefited from the four steps approach to handling problems, and has shared with others these practical guidelines in her own talks.
(Shared by Department of International Relations and Development, DDM/Edited by DDM Australia Editing Team )