Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Ambassador Visit

My picture (why its blurry) 
Last night, what would have generally been a normal Tuesday night, was made more interesting by a lecture by Israel's ambassador to Vatican City, Zion Evrony, Ph.D., here at Rockhurst.  I had seen information about it online, so decided to stop by in the hope to add to the audience that I guessed would be fairly small.  However, I was pleasantly surprised to arrive to a very full audience at the Convocation Center!

 Fr Curran, Rockhurst's president, has had a long-time friendship with the Ambassador, so with the help of the Jewish Community Relations Bureau/ American Jewish Committee of Kansas City, we welcomed him to Rockhurst for part of our Visiting Scholar Lecture Series.  After an introduction by Craig Prentiss, a professor at Rockhurst and a member of the Jewish Community Relations Bureau, he began his speech with surprising humor for a diplomat!  He spent time as the Ambassador to Ireland, and then went into his position where he his now.  The Ambassador reminded everyone that the Holy See has separate embassies from Italy, even with the small size and close proximity to the larger country.  The most interesting part of his speech (to me) was his message about the interfaith dialogue that takes place in his position.  One quote that I particularly liked was that "diplomatic relations (are) used to ease religious tensions".

After he spoke, people were open to ask questions by going up to microphones set up around the room.  The questions ranged from subjects including the wall built in the Cremison Valley to tensions in Iran.  While I felt that some of the questions were not directed toward the correct place, the Ambassador handled each with care.  (He mentioned he hadn't addressed an American audience in many, many years).  Overall, it was a phenomenal event that was put on, that was very educational for all of the students who choose to go, in addition to the countless community members who also were in attendance.  I even met a very kind couple, around the age of my grandparents, who I sat next to during the presentation, and we had a wonderful conversation following the event.  It is always a great opportunity to meet community members, especially since at college, sometimes it feels like you only ever meet other college students!

But overall, the event went very well, and I am proud to say that I was able to attend yet another great lecture before graduating!

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