Middle East – A Humanitarian Disaster

Rev. Elias Mallon, a native New Yorker, is an ordained member of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement (Graymoor). Rev. Mallon was first professed in August of 1963 and was ordained in January 1971. He obtained a licentiate degree (STL) in Old Testament studies and a PhD in Middle Eastern languages from the Catholic University of America. He researched and wrote his dissertation at Eberhard Karls Universität in Tübingen, Germany. He taught Old Testament at the Washington Theological Union and American University in the Washington, DC. He taught ancient Near Eastern languages the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. He also worked for the then Vatican Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity (now Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity) as its faculty representative at the Institut Œcuménique of the World Council of Churches in Bossey, Switzerland. From 1989-2001 he was Director of the Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute in New York City.

He has been involved in the Roman Catholic/Christian-Muslim dialogue on the local, national and international level since 1985 and has published several articles and two books on Islam. The first was Neighbors: Muslims in North America (New York: Friendship Press, 1989) and his latest book is entitled Islam: What Catholics Need to Know (Washington, DC: National Catholic Education Association, 2006), which won second prize at the Catholic Press Association of the US and Canada in 2007. He has also been awarded several prizes by the Association for articles he published in Ecumenical Trends, America. ONE and Origins.

He has also worked with Westminster Press on several programs in its Thoughtful Christian Series. Rev. Mallon worked for six years at a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) at the United Nations, where he used his experience and contacts with Islam to work with Muslim countries and NGOs. He is on the NGO Israel-Palestine Working Group.

 In addition to haven spoken for several years at the annual National Catholic Education Association Conference, Rev. Mallon has given education programs on Catholic-Muslim Relations for clergy and laity in the dioceses of Dodge City, Wichita, Kansas and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

In November 2014, Rev. Mallon was invited by the Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development to appear as a witness before them to share his views on the horrific violence, religious persecution and dislocation perpetrated in Iraq, Syria and the region by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). 

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Sr.Noreen Murray, FMM

She has a BS and MSW in Social Work as well as her LCSW/ACSW Certification for Counseling; and an MA in Theological Studies from the Franciscan School of Theology–Berkeley.  Noreen speaks English and Spanish.

In 1977 Noreen was sent to the Province of Colombia, S.A. where she worked with Basic Christian Communities in various parts of the country.  She was sent to the province of the United States in 1989 for furtherstudies and also service in the Province.

She has been a member of the Initial Formation Team in Colombia and in the United States.  She has served as Local Coordinator (Colombia and US), Novice Directress (US), Provincial Councilor (US).  Noreen has served as Translator (Spanish to English) at the General Chapters 1978, 1984, 1996 and the Enlarged General Council 1988, 1994.  She was the delegate to the General Chapter 2002 from the US Province.

Noreen served as Local Coordinator and is served the Province as Provincial Bursar from September 2003 to the present.She is now serving as the newly elected Provincial of the United States.