Father Anthony Ciorra is the Associate Vice President for the Office of Mission and Catholic Identity at Sacred Hearth University. He is the author of a number of books on mysticism, spirituality and moral theology and holds a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Fordham University. He previously served as the dean of the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education at Fordham University. He is still actively involved in creating programs for inter-religious dialogue among Jews, Christians and Muslims.

” … when we look to our world right now, our world in so many ways is such a broken and fractured place. And so therefore, with youth, we have an opportunity through education to change things. The whole purpose of education is to be transformative. And in the Hizmet Movement, and in the schools of the Movement, a key thing is that we are educating students to make a difference in society. Also, we’re educating students in the Hizmet schools to be good citizens, to be citizens of their country and good citizens of the world. And what does that mean? That in fact, as educated people, we learn, or they learn, to let go of their biases and their prejudices, and to embrace the other.”

” When, in fact, we practice charity, that’s religion at its very best. Religion without charity is not religion. So therefore, that in fact the Hizmet’s outreach to the poor is something that is the living out of that important value. And I would mention, for example, in Turkey I remember visiting one of the hospitals that Hizmet sponsors there. And to see there, in the hospital, that they were taking care of the poorest of the poor. And as I saw some of the sick people there, I thought to myself, thank God that this is being done for them, taking care of their physical needs.”

” What people need to understand is, what Hizmet is doing is going to many countries, I think a hundred and sixteen countries, if I remember correctly, but going to many countries, and what you’re doing is you’re building a bridge in those countries, in terms of how people in all these other countries see Islam but also how they see the country of Turkey. So they see Turkey, then, as a country that wants to embrace the other, that wants to be a player on the world stage, and through your involvement with other countries, they see you as people who want to be instruments of peace for our world.”