Bridges 100th Issue

Bridges 100th Issue

Join us in celebrating this milestone!

Celebrating the 100th Issue of Bridges!

by Rev Dr Patrick McInerney

1 September 2023

The Columban Centre for Christian-Muslim Relations reaches a milestone this month as we publish the 100th issue of Bridges, the flagship publication of the Centre. Bridges was first published in February 1998 and has been an important part of the Centre’s work ever since. As editor for the past 13 years, I am very proud of this newsletter. It has provided extraordinary service in interfaith relations, especially Christian-Muslim relations.

Bridges has evolved over the years in content and design. Initially, it provided basic information on Islam and interfaith relations to a church and society that were largely ignorant of these topics. It included resources for discussion and book reviews. It enabled Christians to get to know Islam and Muslims better. In later years, when people had become familiar with the basics, Bridges became more engaged, with stories of interfaith and Christian-Muslim initiatives from around the world, but always with a view to local implementation. It shows how to go about interfaith dialogue and provides resources. In the early days, Bridges was a basic, black-and-white, Word document, heavy with text. Later advances in technology allowed colour photos and professionally designed layouts that hugely enhanced its appearance.

As a service to church, mosque, and society, to counter negative stereotypes, we publish positive stories about Islam and Muslims. We also publish interfaith news that the mainstream press ignores. The Centre News and World News are interesting snippets that can be read in two minutes. The Features provide deeper treatment of major issues – I am amazed at the extraordinary range of items we have covered over the years. Links enable readers to access the original sources.

I congratulate Sr Pauline Rae SMSM and Sr Kathleen Collins SSpS who initiated Bridges and oversaw its first 10 years. I thank the other Centre staff who contributed content, design, and publishing skills over the years since.

Most of all, I thank our readers. Some have been subscribers from the beginning.  I am grateful for the many moving testimonials they have provided for this milestone occasion:

Cardinal Ayuso acknowledges Bridges as “a beautiful mosaic of interreligious life” around Australia.

Mohammed Helal affirms Bridges as “an excellent source of valuable information, insights and stories that strengthen Christian-Muslim relations”.

Bridges “normalises relations between Christians and Muslims”, Sr Patricia Madigan OP.

Bridges promotes the culture of encounter and building bridges instead of walls,” writes Fr Markus Solo SVD.

Bridges “plays a vital role in promoting interfaith activities, captures the vitality of interfaith relations in our society and promotes dialogue and friendship”, Sr Ruth Durick OSU.

Bridges “illuminates truth and provides information that will increase understanding, diminish fear, and support acceptance and respect among those of differing religious belief”, Sr Helen Mary Peters RSM.

Bridges is a standout in quality, common sense and realistic information that champions human relationships between people who see the world through a different lens,” Bishop Tim Norton.

Bridges “has taught me not to be afraid of diversity, for even in diversity we can find common ground”, Sr Maureen Andrews MFIC.

Bridges carries the reader into and across faiths and over continents,” Prof Anthony Johns.

In short, Bridges is informative, insightful, educative, positive, enlightening, engaging, hope-filled, inspiring, a unique and invaluable resource, and opens windows of knowledge. Archbishop Christopher Prowse neatly sums up its achievement:

In placing us in touch with each other, Bridges has really lived up to its name.

I am deeply touched by the readers’ appreciation, recognition, and encouragement on this milestone, the 100th issue of Bridges. I hope and pray that Bridges continues to inform and to inspire readers for many years to come.

Click here to download Bridges no 100, September 2023.

Click here for Free Subscription.

All previous issues are available on the Columban website: Bridges Archive.

Click here for testimonial by Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, M.C.C.J., President of the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue.