Hill in the Holy Land

The Tantur Ecumenical Institute is the entity
that we have here that goes back more than 50 years now. The Vatican has basically charged the University
with helping to found, to fund, to design, to build and to run an institute of higher
education here on this hilltop that would focus on ecumenism. We’re one of only two US universities to have
this kind of a physical presence in Jerusalem and to be able to be in the heart of a whole
series of conversations and dialogues and challenges and conflicts and opportunities. And to that end, we’ve wanted to grow our
presence, grow the identity so people know that the Tantur Ecumenical Institute is there
and continues to thrive and flourish. Also at Tantur is our Jerusalem Global Gateway. So, that involves, certainly, our study abroad
programs for the fall and spring, as well as for the summer, but also the opportunity
for Notre Dame faculty to come to work and to research and to write in the Holy Land
as well. But also at Tantur people have the ability
to pray together, the ability to eat together in the dining room, and it’s actually having
the opportunity to interact. Tantur has also opened its doors to local
organizations that seek to bring Israelis and Palestinians together. Our location is indicative of our vocation and
Tantur is right here at the crossroads, so that’s really our fundamental mission is about. It’s about building bridges between faith
communities, between peoples who have fundamental differences whether theological, political,
ethnic. We are kind of the refuge for these dialogues
and discussions. I think it really is an exciting opportunity
as we’ve renewed our 50 year arrangement with the Vatican and now have committed to another
50 years. I think it really provides a wonderful opportunity
to think about the future. We are really stewards of that original mission
that Pope Paul VI gave to Fr. Ted. What better place to be that force for good
in the world given our identity, our mission and our values than in Jerusalem.

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