Mother Mary in Islam and Catholicism Oct. 9

Mary ‘a bridge’ for Christians and Muslims

“O Mary, truly God has chosen thee and purified thee, and has chosen thee above the women of the worlds. O Mary!”

Does it surprise you that the quote above comes not from the New Testament, but from the the Quran, the holy book of Islam?

Islam has a long tradition of reverence for Mary, the Mother of Jesus. In fact, Mary is the only woman mentioned by name in the Qur’an, which has an entire chapter named after her (Sura 19, “Maryam”). It is because of this shared devotion to Mary that Cardinal Blasé Cupich of Chicago has called Mary “an interreligious bridge” for Christians and Muslims.

Cardinal Cupich recently wrote in America magazine: “Like Catholics, Muslims believe Mary to be pure, courageous and faithful. They also believe that she was free from sin. The Quran calls her an example for believers, a woman of truth, a sign for all peoples and chosen above all women.”

You can read the cardinal’s full article here: How Mary can be a bridge between Christians and Muslims.

Here is another article you might want to read: What Islam really teaches about the Virgin Mary

To celebrate our shared devotion to Mary, Precious Blood Renewal Center and The Dialogue Institute of Kansas City are hosting the program “Mother Mary in Catholicism and Islam” Oct. 9, 6-8:30 p.m. The evening will include presentations by Muslim and Catholic scholars and dinner.

Speakers will cover three topics:

  • “Divine Mother, Divine Mover” Michael J. Sanem will present the Catholic view of Mary through the lens of a spirituality of pilgrimage.
  • “Mary and the Calling to Motherhood” Dr. Sofia Khan will discuss the high level of dignity and respect given to a mother in Islam in the light of Quran and Sunnah, which is the traditional customs and practices of the Islamic community.
  • “Lessons from Mary for Today” Uma Geyik will draw an analogy between the persecution of mothers and the children in Turkey today to the hardships and social ostracization endured by Mary and her Son.

Michael J. Sanem is the Director of Faith Formation at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Kansas City, and formerly the theology chair at St. Teresa’s Academy. A Bernardin Scholar who studied at Catholic Theological Union and Loyola University Chicago, he has written for Millennial Journal, God In All Things, US Catholic, and the Leaven Catholic Newspaper. When he’s not chasing his two sons or leading a pilgrimage through Italy, he writes regularly at

Uma Geyik is a high school chemistry teacher. She earned a master’s degree from the University of Texas at Dallas and a doctoral degree in science education from Texas Christian University. She was recognized as a remarkable student and awarded with the STAR scholarship. She has publications in multimedia education and modeling. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri, with her husband and three kids.

Dr. Sofia Khan is a physician and mother of five. A Kansas City resident for more than 20 years, she is a community activist, involved in numerous charity projects and active in the interfaith community. She is founder and president of KC for Refugees, a community alliance helping refugee families in the metro area. She serves on the boards of Notre Dame de Sion School, the United Nations Association of Greater Kansas City, American Public Square and Abraham House, an interfaith project with Habitat of Humanity.

You can register and prepay here:


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