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Shinnyo-en Foundation Supports Catholic/Buddhist Pilgrimage to Jamaica


June 2011 by Deacon Steve Herrera

On June 6-13th, seven adults from the Diocese of San Jose and two members of the Shinnyo-en Buddhist Order, Denise Ikeda and Jennifer Okubo,  participated in the First Annual Catholic-Buddhist Interfaith trip to Montego Bay, Jamaica.

This unique trip engaged the participants in Catholic Church ministries in Jamaica and the group visited a Jamaican hospital (very rudimentary), two facilities for developmentally disabled children and adults, a hospice, and became acquainted with the socio-economic conditions in Jamaica. Another aspect of this trip was interfaith dialogue in which Catholics and Buddhists were able to share their religious beliefs and explore common values such as service, compassion and peace-building.

The participants spent a week exploring Jamaica, its history, and its current situation. Denise Ikeda and Jennifer Okubo shared their Shinnyo-en Buddhist beliefs, chanting, meditation practices and engaged in interfaith discussions with the Catholic participants. We are planning on embarking on another Catholic-Buddhist trip to Jamaica in April 2012.

This pilgrimage was partially funded by the Shinnyo-en Foundation and is part of the Six Billion Paths to Peace Project.