Imam Khuzaima Ilyas of the Islamic Center of Savannah addresses those gathered in solidarity March 25 against religious intolerance and violence. Photographs by Jessica L. Marsala.

Interfaith unity 'shining light where there is growing darkness'

Originally Appeared in : 9907-3/28/19

SAVANNAH--In a display of interfaith unity, leaders of various religions in the Coastal Empire gathered March 25 at the Islamic Center of Savannah in mutual opposition to the March 15 shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. They also demonstrated to the community—watching in person or live on the Savannah mosque’s Facebook page—their renewed commitment to stand together in defiance against religious intolerance, prejudice and violence.


Father Gabe Cummings, pastor of St. Frances Cabrini Church in Savannah, was among the attendees of the interfaith gathering March 25. Photograph by Jessica L. Marsala. 

Prior to the gathering, religious leaders signed a joint letter to the editor of the Savannah Morning News, which further outlined their desire to “both condemn and commit.” The letter was published in the Monday edition of the paper and on its website. 


“Let us continue to use our faith to shine light where there is growing darkness,” reads an excerpt from the letter.  


Among the letter’s Catholic signees: Father J. Gerard Schreck, rector of the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Savannah; Father Jerry Ragan, pastor of St. Michael Church on Tybee Island; Father Michael Kavanaugh, director of the diocesan Office for Ecumenism & Interreligious Relations and pastor of St. Peter the Apostle Church in Savannah; and Monsignor William Oliver O’Neill, cathedral rector emeritus. 


Also in attendance at the event were a number of local civic leaders and members of the law enforcement community.

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