In a world of ever-increasing, religious-based hate, members of the northwest suburban Children of Abraham Coalition, find their message of tolerance and acceptance more important than ever.

For the third year, they will join with members of the Saint Viator High School community to host a potluck dinner for area families as a way to promote interfaith understanding and peace, on the 13th observance of Sept. 11. Families are invited to reflect on their religious or cultural background as they dine with Muslim and Jewish families from around the area.

Guests also will hear brief reflections on peace from a Jewish, Muslim and Catholic teen. Families gathered in 2012 to observe Sept. 11 and reflect on cultural diversity. The event takes place from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 11 at Saint Viator. Each family is asked to bring a dish to share, that reflects their cultural heritage, making the event a veritable feast as well as a celebration of diversity.
Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, president of Saint Viator, helped to form Children of Abraham in the wake of Sept. 11, as a way to advance interfaith dialogue among teens and their families, and build relations between religions. He drew immediate support and members from area temples and Islamic centers in the northwest suburbs.

“We can’t stop all the religious-based hate in the world, but we can do our part,” Fr. Brost said. “We can be people of peace in our corner of the world, especially on Sept.11, a day that showed how deadly religious hate can be.”

Guests in the past have belonged to Jewish temples in Buffalo Grove and Long Grove, as well as Islamic centers in Schaumburg and Glendale Heights, and Catholic parishes in the northwest suburbs. Families will gather at tables in the school’s Boler Center, while its former cafeteria undergoes a yearlong renovation. On each table, a framed centerpiece will bring home the event’s underlying message: Salaam, Shalom, Peace.