An interfaith message of hope

St. Luke’s Parish of Panama joined the synagogue of Congregation Kol Shearith Israel to congratulate the new year 2021 in a joint interfaith message.

Faith is one when it comes to spreading hope to the world. This is how the faithful of St. Luke Parish of the Augustinian Recollects in Panama understood it. On the occasion of the New Year, and in a particularly difficult context marked by the pandemic, they prepared a joint video message with the Kol Shearith Israel Congregation to wish a good 2021 and to send words of encouragement and hope. Christians and Jews united, because faith unites hearts and souls for the benefit of mankind.

The union of the religions – neighbors by their temples in Costa del Este – took place through music. The Christian and Jewish faithful sang together the song ‘Cantaré, cantarás’ (I will sing, you will sing), covered by numerous artists with lyrics by Anahí van Zandweghe. In doing so, they intended to send a message of hope, because, as the song says, “there will always be a place for every human being”. Humanity, in whatever circumstances it finds itself, is always welcome in the arms of God, or Yahweh.

The song was followed by a few words from the parish priest of St. Luke’s, the Augustinian Recollect Julian Hincapie, and the rabbi of the synagogue, Gustavo Kraselnik. Both agreed that 2020 “has been a difficult year”. In this year, society has learned to care “for the sick, for the most needy, for the health personnel”, in the words of the religious. In this line, the Rabbi of the Kol Shearith Israel Congregation affirmed that “it is necessary to renew hope and illusion”.

All together they made real the words of the Augustinian Recollect Julian Hincapie: “God has given us the capacity to share as brothers without distinction of race or religion”. The message, which is produced thanks to the close relationship between the Augustinian Recollect parish and the Panamanian synagogue, is not the first joint one: the first was in 2017, when they made a video greeting for Christmas and Chanukah, and in March 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic, they produced a message of encouragement for the population. It is a unique and important gesture: together, without religious differences, the world can be changed.