On December 23, 1997, a Hanukkah candle was lit in the Vatican for the first time to mark the beginning of the eight-day Jewish Festival of Lights. The menorah was placed next to an olive tree that was originally planted in Jerusalem in 1965 after the Second Vatican Council and then moved to a Vatican Garden that has been used by popes for centuries for prayer and meditation.
It is recognised as an important step in the process of reconciliation between Catholics and Jews.
we give thanks for all the progress that has been made in relations between the great Abrahamic faiths and for all those who work in the area of interfaith relations.
We are grateful also for the reminder of the impact of gestures like this one and pray that acts of recognition and respect might become the norm in all our relationships.
By Fr Pat O'Shea - Lower Hutt