Franciscans and Muslims: Lessons from the Past & Prospects for the Future

June 11-14th 2018

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Sr. Kathy Warren, OSF

Franciscan Sister Kathy Warren is a member of the Rochester, Minnesota Franciscans.

Kathy is a scholar of interreligious dialogue, particularly Muslim-Christian interaction, from a Franciscan perspective.

She holds a master’s degree in Religious Studies from Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois as well as a master’s degree in Franciscan Studies from St. Bonaventure University. She is the author of Daring to Cross the Threshold: Francis of Assisi Encounters Sultan Malek al-Kamil, a book which grew out of her thesis. When 9-11 happened in the middle of her studies focused on Muslim-Christian interaction, she pursued further work in this area. She holds a doctorate in ministry from the Graduate Theological Foundation in South Bend, Indiana. Her doctoral project is a pilgrimage for Muslims, Christians and Jews entitled: Muslims, Christians and Jews Encounter Francis of Assisi and Each Other: A Paradigm for Doing Peace and Rebuilding the World.

Along with Jaysari (Joyce) Hart of Los Angeles, CA, Kathy is co-producer of the DVD: In the Footprints of Francis and the Sultan: A Model for Peacemaking (2013). In October 2015, Kathy showed the film at the Parliament of the World’s Religions, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Kathy is one of the Franciscan scholars interviewed for the Unity Productions Foundation film, The Sultan and the Saint, released in November, 2016.

Kathy also serves as a guide for the Franciscan Pilgrimage Programs of Franklin, WI. She currently serves as the Director for the Office for Women Religious in the Diocese of San Diego.

Michael Calabria, OFM, PhD is a Franciscan friar of Holy Name Province. He is the Founding Director of the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies at St. Bonaventure University in NY ( He has a BA in Near Eastern Studies (Johns Hopkins), an MA in Egyptology (Brown University), an M.Div/MA in Theology (Washington Theological Union), and a PhD in Islamic Studies (University of Exeter, UK). He teaches courses on Islam, Christian-Muslim Relations, Middle Eastern History, Islamic Art and Architecture, and Women in the Middle East. He served as a consultant for the 2017 film about St. Francis in Egypt titled: The Sultan and the Saint, and for the 2012 film: In the Footprints of Francis and the Sultan: a Model for Peacemaking. Among his recent publications are: “By the Book: Women as Calligraphers and Patrons of the Qur’an” (forthcoming, 2018), “Seeing Stars: Islamic Decorative Motifs in the Basilica of St. Francis” (2017), “The Flowering of India: a Mughal Manifesto for Environmentalism” (2017). In addition to his academic work, Michael serves as the Special Assistant for Dialogue with Islam for the Order of Friars Minor. He has travelled extensively in the Middle East and India, and speaks widely on Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, and is an annual presenter at the Franciscan Spiritual Center in Aston, PA.