The San Diego area of the Western Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem held a program for the Year of Mercy on: God’s Mercy in Christianity, Judaism and Islam on August 14, 2016 at Father Joe’s Villages. The program began with an interfaith panel composed of Rabi Michael Berk, Congregation Beth Israel, Imam Taha Hassae of Islamic Center of San Diego and Monsignor Dennis Mikulanis from San Rafael Parish from the Catholic Diocese of San Diego. Donald Rez (a Knight and Chair of the Year of Mercy Committee in San Diego) introduced the panel participants, the topic at hand and moderated the event. Each panelist explained the concept of God’s mercy in the context of their religious tradition and God’s expectation of mankind’s obligation to treat each other mercifully.
Following the panel presentation, Sir Deacon Jim Vargas, the CEO of Father Joe’s Villages, provided an overview of the works of mercy performed every day at Father Joe’s Villages, which includes over 3,000 meals served daily to community members (homeless and non-homeless individuals), housing and employment services, health and wellness services, the Toussaint Academy for impoverished youth, and the Therapeutic Childcare Center. A tour of the facilities followed. Thereafter, 16 volunteers among the 45 attendees, including Mr. Rez, stayed and assisted in serving a special Thanksgiving dinner to the residents.
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