By Bishop Kevin J. Farrell
Publisher of The Texas Catholic
Simple acts of kindness say more about relationships than scholarly tomes because they come from the heart. One such act occurred in Irving last week among neighbors along Esters Road. Holy Family of Nazareth Catholic Church and Academy are just down the road from the Islamic Center and School of Irving.
On July 26, the world was shocked when Father Jacques Hamel, an 85-year-old retired priest in residence at Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray Parish at Rouen, Normandy, was murdered while celebrating Mass by two young Muslim men inspired to violence by the ISIS distortion of Islam.
The next morning here in Irving a card and bouquet were left on the doorstep at Holy Family. The handwritten note on the card read: ““Our condolences for the loss of Rev. Jacques Hamel of France. From the Muslim Community.”
A bouquet and note of condolence spoke profoundly to the sorrow and grief felt by both communities in Irving and Rouen, and the world, over the death of this good priest at the altar. I am very happy to report that Holy Family and the Islamic Center of Irving have, through the years, forged a very good relationship as neighbors and faith communities. I am grateful for the sympathy and kindness shown by the Islamic community to our Catholic community and pray we continue to work together to keep our friendship strong.