Inspired by the Franciscan charism of the Felician Sisters, the Center for Catholic Studies and Interfaith Dialogue is an educational initiative, committed to Madonna University’s core value of respect for every human person, that seeks to promote understanding, justice, and peace through theological and philosophical reflection, scholarship, and dialogue.


“Our task in approaching another people, another culture, another religion, is to take off our shoes, for the place we are approaching is holy, else we find ourselves treading on another’s dream. More serious still, we may forget that God was present before our arrival." — (Author unknown)

This quotation captures something deeply true and beautiful about the world we live in. And in this vast and complex world, no one owns God. No one person, tradition, culture, or religion has a monopoly on the unfathomable mystery upon which our universe and our fragile lives rest.

During the Crusades, Francis of Assisi had the revolutionary idea of reaching out to the Sultan, the leader of the Saracen forces, in peace, in the midst of a brutal war. Both of these men were changed by that encounter. They developed an understanding and respect for one another and a keen appreciation of the vibrancy of the other’s faith and depth of devotion to God. The little poor man from Assisi can be a model for us again today in reaching out to one another with humility, with awe, with joy, and with gratitude for the rich blessings of our religious traditions.