Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Interfaith: Our Buddhist Brothers and Sisters in Fort Wayne

The Buddhist Monks marching in defiance of the Burmese military regime made me think of our own, local Buddhists. We have the world’s largest Burmese population living outside of Burma. A trip to the local south side grocery would reflect that. Men in robes, sarongs, sandals can be seen shopping for produce. However, the Burmese are not the only significant Buddhist population in Fort Wayne.

The city has at least six temples. The city has Sri Lankan Buddhists, Buddhists from throughout Asia, and American born converts. The University of Saint Francis has been fortunate to call the Venerable Thalangama Devananda, head monk at the Sri Lankan “Indiana Buddhist Temple” friend. He was a participant in last years Inter-faith Dedication of the new John Paul II Center. He was an active participant in last weeks Candle Light Peace Vigil sponsored by JUST PEACE and located at our USF campus. Devananda is a popular speaker, much in demand, throughout the U.S. and Canada.

The Venerable Devananda is a man of peace, tranquility, acceptance and love. He asks not that his Christian friends become Buddhist, but rather that they find the joy in their faith that is already there. He is our brother in peace.

As our friend would say, “May you be healthy, happy and at peace”.


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