Father Liam O’Doherty shares an “Incarnational Faith”

July 26, 2016

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Father Liam and ICNY Podcast Producer Maggi Van Dorn 

In this episode of our free podcast series “NYC Faith Leaders,” Maggi Van Dorn talks with Father Liam O'Doherty, an Augustinian friar and Catholic priest, currently of Our Mother of Good Counsel Parish in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and formerly of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Staten Island.  Fr. Liam served 18 years as a missionary in Nagoya & Nagasaki, Japan, where he ministered to the descendents of Japan's first Catholic martyrs.  He is renown in Staten Island for his interfaith work in bringing together the Roman Catholic and Muslim communities around shared social justice concerns.  And Fr. Liam is also credited with arranging New York City Cardinal Dolan’s first visit to a mosque.

On Muslim Neighbors: [When I see Muslims pray, I see] that what they have in their hearts is the same thing that I have in my heart - a deep desire to praise God, and to have a relationship with Him.  And the thing that comes out of that is a desire to support each other in their walk of faith, and also to do something for the people outside of the community.” 

On singing as embodied prayer: “When you sing, your body becomes a musical instrument … it’s incarnational.”

On how to Be a Priest/Faith leader: “Show up, be there, and don't get in the way of the action of the Holy Spirit."

We hope you will not just listen to this series, but download the podcasts to hear while driving, jogging, or washing the dishes.  And subscribe in order to be alerted when new installments are available.  It’s a great way to learn about the faiths of our New York City neighbors.

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“Faith in Humanity’s Capacity for Goodness” - Dr. Anne Klaeysen on Humanism and the Morality of Atheistic Philosophy

June 15, 2016

In this episode of our free podcast series “NYC Faith Leaders,” Maggi Van Dorn and ICNY’s Directory of Programs Dr. Henry Goldschmidt talk with Dr. Anne Klaeysen, leader of the New York Society for Ethical Culture, ethical humanist religious life advisor at Columbia University and humanist chaplain at NYU. 

 

On the first Humanists: "While they were experiencing their lives and their commitments to their vocations as religious they were beginning to separate that more from a belief in a supernatural, anthropomorphized deity."

On the "1st manifesto": "Humanism is a philosophy and a religion that emphasizes human responsibility and accountability."

On Adler’s Supreme Ethical Rule: "You choose to attribute worth and dignity to every human being, and secondly, you act in ways to elicit the goodness in others and when you act in that way you are eliciting the goodness in yourself."

 

Note: The music clips heard in this podcast episode are taken from the song “What About Love?" with full permission from its writer and performer, Athena ReichComplete song and lyrics here

 

We hope you will not just listen to this series, but download the podcasts to hear while driving, jogging, or washing the dishes.  And subscribe in order to be alerted when new installments are available.  It’s a great way to learn about the faiths of our New York City neighbors.

 

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“What About Love?” written and performed by Athena Reich

June 15, 2016

The music clips heard in our June podcast interview with Dr. Anne Klaeysen of the New York Society for Ethical Culture are taken from the song “What About Love?” written and performed by Athena Reich.  See http://www.athenareich.com/. 

Lyrics:

Will I let this time
Define my state of mind?
Will I let the news
Be my only muse?
Will I let these leaders
Be my only meters
on how to live, love
work and die….

Will we swallow laws
just because?
Will we swallow fate
until it’s too late?
Will we swallow war
As nothing more
than a tragic chapter
in the human factor…

I can’t take it anymore
There’s gotta be a change for sure
I’m so sick of being numb
Would it make a difference if I gave you some of that
LOVE

Is difference of skin
an excuse to sin?
Is difference of faith
An excuse to hate?
does difference of land
define the man?
Or all we all the same
Beneath this losing game

We won’t take it anymore
There’s gonna be a change for sure
We’re so done with being numb
Give me some, let me give you some of that
LOVE
Some say that hope is a fool just wasting time
I say that hope is a prayer that can change… that can change mankind

What about Love   
LOVE
   
When we gonna treat every heart that beats with
LOVE

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“Walk a Path of Service” - Al Cadena on the Bahá’í faith, and living life with purpose and meaning

May 21, 2016

In this episode of our free podcast series “NYC Faith Leaders,” Maggi Van Dorn talks with Al Cadena, one of nine members of an elected body called the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of New York City.  Al provides a wonderful introduction to Bahá'í beliefs, and how the faith informs a person's ethics.  He also shares his inspiring journey to victory on the game show "Jeopardy!".  

On Bahá'ísm: "Bahá'í stresses the unity of all the world's religions, that they all come from God." 

On Youth: "Oftentimes society believes that youth doesn't have the ability to be role models... but if anything, youth have the ability to move the world. So let's let them do that."

On Morality: "The soul has no gender, no color, no class.  Because each one of us has a soul that comes from God, then we have to treat each other beautifully.  It's the 'Golden Rule,' but goes further because you want better for your brother or sister than for yourself."

Note: The music clips heard in this podcast episode are taken from the song “Morning Prayer.”  The words are those of Baha'u'llah, the founder of the Bahá'í faith.  The music was written, and the song is performed by, Saphira Rameshfar.  Complete song and lyrics here.

We hope you will not just listen to this series, but download the podcasts to hear while driving, jogging, or washing the dishes.  And subscribe in order to be alerted when new installments are available.  It’s a great way to learn about the faiths of our New York City neighbors.

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“Morning Prayer” performed by Saphira Rameshfar

May 21, 2016

The music clips heard in our May podcast interview with Al Cadena of the Bahá'í Center of NYC are taken from the song “Morning Prayer.”  The words are those of Baha'u'llah, the founder of the Bahá'í faith.  The music was written, and the song is performed by, Saphira Rameshfar.

Lyrics:

 “Morning Prayer”

I have risen this morning by Thy grace, O my God, and left my home trusting wholly in Thee, and committing myself to Thy care.  Send down, then, upon me, out of the heaven of Thy mercy, a blessing from Thy side, and enable me to return home in safety even as Thou didst enable me to set out under Thy protection with my thoughts fixed steadfastly upon Thee.

 There is none other God but Thee, the One, the Incomparable, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

 

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“Music Can Say Things that the Heart Cannot Find Words to Say” - Michael Manswell on Yoruba, the Arts, and Spiritual Transformation

April 23, 2016

In this episode of our free podcast series “NYC Faith Leaders,” Maggi Van Dorn interviews dancer, singer, choreographer, teaching artist, artistic director and Orisha devotee Michael Manswell.  Mr. Manswell talks about the origins and practices of the Yoruba tradition (one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa), religious leadership, and "Something Positive," an arts and education organization dedicated to the art and culture of the African Diaspora and its cross-cultural influences through performance and education.

 

On his preferred title of "devotee": I have always felt that the word "priest" places you in a solitary position, in a kind of enforced solitude ... whereas the Yoruba [leader] is part and parcel of who the community is... is woven into the fabric.

 

On divination: "Opening the portals so you can see your possible paths ... or the possibilities that lay if you were take a certain action ... or not."  

 

On chanting and movement: "It is a channel through which you can present your petition, your thanks,your rage, your disappointment, your hurt your grief, your love to the divine because it inhabits a place that’s not seen."

 

We hope you will not just listen to this series, but download the podcasts to hear while driving, jogging, or washing the dishes.  And subscribe in order to be alerted when new installments are available.  It’s a great way to learn about the faiths of our New York City neighbors.

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“A Commitment to Radical Equality” - Sonny Singh on Revolutionary Sikhism, Advocacy & Bhangra Music

March 20, 2016

On Sikhism:

"It's about having direct devotion and access to the Divine, and if that's our way of thinking, that is a commitment to radical equality.  Prayer is an important access point to the divine, but prayer is also fighting against injustice, organizing, feeding people, clothing people..."

On being a faith leader:

"There's no concept of 'clergy' in the Sikh faith.  I define [a faith leader] as someone who is organizing and mobilizing people from a particular faith community for ... at its best, various forms of social and economic justice."

On leadership opportunities for youth:

"We're seeing very smart and on-point young folks that are challenging some of the more conservative elements of our community... about homosexuality, caste, and gender equality."

In this episode of our free podcast series “NYC Faith Leaders,” Maggi Van Dorn interviews Sonny Singh, a Brooklyn-based justice educator, activist, published writer and community organizer and musician, who talks with us about Sikhism, his call to social justice, and the expression of his faith and calling in music. 

We hope you will not just listen to this series, but download the podcasts to hear while driving, jogging, or washing the dishes.  And subscribe in order to be alerted when new installments are available.  It’s a great way to learn about the faiths of our New York City neighbors.

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“What it Means to Stand Together”- Imam Khalid Latif on faith leadership and collaboration

February 13, 2016

"Legitimacy can be established through credentials ... or it can be established through a track record and work experience, that you have indicated through some type of continuous effort that you are someone worth listening to."

"Our bigger challenge today is ... the amount of indifference that exists.  That you see injustice taking place in front of you, and you have the ability to do something about it, and you still don't.  You can have a perspective on a person or a community that they represent, without having ever met someone from that community."

"Find the courage to go and be with those who are different rather than waiting for them to be with you."

In this episode of our free podcast series “NYC Faith Leaders,” Maggi Van Dorn interviews Imam Khalid Latif, who shares with us his experience as the first Muslim chaplain of NYU, the emerging faith leadership of young adults, and how conviction inspires and necessitates a person to work across faith lines. 

We're pleased that this episode will be the first entry in the Storybank of Religions for Peace USA’s "Our Muslim Neighbor" initiative, a long-term collective impact effort geared toward combating Islamophobia with a positive, informed, and consistent message of Islam and Muslims in the U.S.

We hope you will not just listen to this series, but download the podcasts to hear while driving, jogging, or washing the dishes.  And subscribe in order to be alerted when new installments are available.  It’s a great way to learn about the faiths of our New York City neighbors.

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“Without a Vision, There is No Way in Life You Can Succeed” - Dr. Uma Mysorekar on Hinduism and Her Path to Founding the NY Ganesh Temple

January 12, 2016

About Hinduism and Monotheism: "Hindus believe in one supreme Brahman. The anciet sages and the seers always worshiped a formless form of the Lord. The form came in for common people to be able to focus their worship."

On Hinduism and deitieis: "We strongly believe that God is in everything.  You can invoke God in a piece of stone.  Every part of a deity's body gives us a message - Ganesha's ears prompt us to be good listeners, his eyes teach us to be focused."

On the role of the House of Worship: "Temples are bulit for a community platform, people get married here, children love to come and sing, dance."

On Religious Diversity: "We must appreciate differences.  Ultimately we all want to reach the supreme lord.  All religions are equal. In our prayers, we always say 'Let the entire universe be happy and healthy.'"

In the fifth episode of our free podscast series “NYC Faith Leaders,” Maggi Van Dorn interviews Dr. Uma Mysorekar, about her roots in faith, her medical practice, and giving back to the community, helping to found the Hindu Temple Society of North America – New York City’s oldest and largest Hindu temple, in Flushing, Queens.

We hope you will not just listen to this series, but download the podcasts to hear while driving, jogging, or washing the dishes.  And subscribe in order to be alerted when new installments are available.  It’s a great way to learn about the faiths of our New York City neighbors.

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“You Have to be a Testimony” – Theo and Phyllis Harris Discuss Life After Incarceration and the Redemptive Power of Music

December 6, 2015

Maggi Van Dorn talks with Theo and Phyllis Harris, stars of the Off Broadway show “Alive 55+ and Kickin"

“Every time I lift my eyes to the sky, I’m reminded of a time in my life
When all the dark clouds hung over me, I was lost inside, in search of a key.
I remember loved ones being so kind, saying things would get much better with time.
And I admit sometimes it did for a while, then I’d find myself back under the cloud.
But right in the midst of the rain, my heart was so filled with pain,
You came and rescued my soul, and then your love took control.
Right in the midst of the rain you taught me to smile again.
My life was awesomely changed right in the midst of the rain.”

In the fourth episode of our free podscast series “NYC Faith Leaders,” Maggi Van Dorn interviews Theo and Phyllis Harris, about their lives and art.  During Theo’s many years of incarceration, Phyllis struggled with raising a family.  In their shared love of singing, the two of them found the strength to keep their marriage together and give inspiration to countless others through their performances in “Alive 55+ and Kickin,” at the Dempsey Theater in Harlem.  The show, now in its third year, was produced by Vy Higginson, creator of the acclaimed gospel musical “Mama, I want to Sing.”  As described on the “Alive 55+ and Kickin'” website, the show is about “the healing and transformative power of story and song. With music ranging from gospel, to soul, to blues, to R&B, to pop, and Broadway, ALIVE! captures a wide spectrum of the total Black experience in sound.”

We hope you will not just listen to this series, but download the podcasts to hear while driving, jogging, or washing the dishes.  And subscribe in order to be alerted when new installments are available.  It’s a great way to learn about the faiths of our New York City neighbors.

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