(For Immediate Release-October 5, 2016) The Franciscan Friars of the Atonement announced that the XXII Paul Wattson Lecture in Halifax will take place on Monday, November 7, 2016. Rev. Elias Mallon, SA, will speak the topic “ISIS: A Rootless Phenomenon?”

flyer-paul-wattson-lecture-halifax-2016Father Mallon, a native New Yorker, is an ordained member of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement (Graymoor). He obtained a licentiate degree (STL) in Old Testament studies and a PhD in Middle Eastern languages from the Catholic University of America. He researched and wrote his dissertation at Eberhard Karls Universität in Tübingen, Germany. He taught at the Washington Theological Union and American University in the Washington, DC. He taught ancient Near Eastern languages the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. He also worked for the then Vatican Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity (now Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity) as its faculty representative at the Institut Œcuménique of the World Council of Churches in Bossey, Switzerland. From 1989-2001 he was Director of the Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute in New York City.

Father Mallon has been involved in the Roman Catholic/Christian-Muslim dialogue on the local, national and international level since 1985 and has published several articles and two books on Islam. Presently he is a member of the East Coast/Mid-Atlantic Catholic-Muslim Dialogue of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. He has received several awards and honorable mentions from the International Catholic Press Association for his writings on Islam. His articles appear regularly in America and ONE magazines. He has also worked with Westminster Press on several programs in its Thoughtful Christian Series. Father Mallon worked for six years at a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) at the United Nations, where he used his experience and contacts with Islam to work with Muslim countries and NGOs. He is on the NGO Israel-Palestine Working Group.

At present Father Mallon is the External Affairs Officer for the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) which supports charitable, educational, health and development projects in the Middle East, Ethiopia, eastern Europe and southern India. Here he is responsible for representing CNEWA at the UN, research and interreligious dialogue. He is a regular contributor One to One, the blog site of CNEWA.

In addition to haven spoken for several years at the annual National Catholic Education Association Conference, Father Mallon has given education programs on Catholic-Muslim Relations for clergy and laity in the dioceses of Dodge City, Wichita, Kansas and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. He has delivered papers at the Catholic Jewish Dialogue of the Archdiocese of Toronto and a paper on the topic of Mercy in the Catholic-Muslim Dialogue at St. Michael’s College of the University of Toronto. Each year the Paul Wattson Lecture, a ministry of the Friars, is held in Halifax. The lecture is co-sponsored by the Atlantic School of Theology and St. Mary’s University, to honor the memory, life and work toward Christian unity and interfaith dialogue of Servant of God Fr. Paul of Graymoor. This free lecture which is open to the public will take place at 7pm at Saint Mary’s University, Scotiabank Conference Theatre, Sobey Building, 903 Robie Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

For more information, email Father David Poirier, SA, djpoirier@gmail.com

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The Paul Wattson Christian Unity Lectures honor the memory of the Reverend Paul James Francis Wattson, S.A. (1863-1940), founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement and pioneer for the cause of Christian Unity. These annual lectures feature national and international leaders in the fields of ecumenism and interreligious dialogue who speak on current topics of interest. Initiated in 1974 at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, the series was expanded in 1980 to the University of San Francisco; then, in 1995 to the Atlantic School of Theology in Halifax; and in 1996 to the Toronto School of Theology in Toronto. In 1998, it was added to the ministry of the Friars at their Centro Pro Unione in Rome honoring not only Father Paul, but also Mother Lurana White, S.A., founder of the Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement. The Paul Wattson Lectures are a ministry of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement of Graymoor in Garrison, NY.

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