The Russell Berrie Foundation
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Angelica and Cardinal

From left to right: Father Norbert Hofmann, Angelica Berrie, President Russell Berrie Foundation with his Eminence Cardinal Kurt Koch at the Fifth Annual Pope John Paul II Lecture on Interreligious Understanding, May 2012

The John Paul II Center for Interreligious Dialogue

The John Paul II Center for Interreligious Dialogue, a partnership between The Russell Berrie Foundation and the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), and administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE), builds bridges between Christian, Jewish and other religious traditions by providing the next generation of religious leaders with a comprehensive understanding of and dedication to interfaith issues and action.

The Center, located at the Angelicum in Rome, Italy, sponsors unique programs and initiatives to achieve this goal, including: fellowships for students to pursue interreligious studies, a diploma program in interreligious studies, a study tour to Israel, top-level visiting faculty teaching interreligious dialogue courses, and the prestigious John Paul II Lecture on Interreligious Understanding.

The Angelicum is an ecclesiastical Dominican center where 150 professors from 30 countries, and 900 students from 95 countries work and study in Theology, Philosophy, Canon Law and Social Sciences. Past graduates have gone on to hold positions of leadership in the Catholic Church, among them, Pope John Paul II.

Pope John Paul II Annual Lecture on Interreligious Understanding

Cardinal Lecture 2012
His Eminence Cardinal Kurt Koch at the Fifth Annual Pope John Paul II Lecture on Interreligious Understanding, May 201

The annual lecture features a world religious leader or renowned expert who embodies the ideals of interreligious understanding. The lecture is a major event at the Angelicum and attracts the Roman academic community as well as the international diplomatic community.To date the Annual Lecture has hosted an array of prominent and Internationally known academics and religious leaders as key note speakers:

Year Speaker Lecture

Reverend Donald W. Wuerl, S.T.D. Archbishop of Washington, DC

Unifying Religious Threads that Provide a Common Ground for Peace


Rabbi Michael Schudrich, Chief Rabbi of Poland

A Rabbi’s Reflection on the Teachings of John Paul II


Mona Siddiqui, Prominent Islamic Scholar and Professor of Islamic Studies and Public Understanding at the University of Glasgow

Islamic Perspectives on Judaism and Christianity


His Eminence Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Commission of the Holy See for Religious Relations with the Jews

Building on Nostra Aetate: 50 Years of Christian- Jewish Dialogue

To learn more about the Pope John Paul II Center, lectures and events please visit:

The Russell Berrie Fellowship

Berrie Fellows 2011 in Class Discussion at Shalom Hartman Institute
Started in 2008, 40 full fellowships have been awarded to highly qualified individuals from around the globe to study at the Angelicum. The aim is for these students to become actively immersed in interfaith dialogue throughout their studies and become leaders in their communities after they graduate.

Most Russell Berrie Fellows study within the Ecumenical section of the Faculty of Theology at the Angelicum. The student body consists of men and women (clergy, religious and lay) from many nations, and includes Latin and Eastern Catholics, Orthodox Christians, Anglicans, Protestants, and occasionally, those from other faiths including Muslims, Jews and Buddhists. The Russell Berrie Fellows are enrolled in one of the four Faculties of the University: Theology, Philosophy, Canon Law or Social Sciences. The fellowship is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE).

Fellows originate from 17 different countries. For more information, please click on the following link:

Angelica and Fellows Study Trip 2011
Study Trip Israel 2011: Father Bliss, Angelica Berrie, David Stone and Berrie Fellows 2011.
Study Trip to Israel

During the ten day trip to Israel Fellows study at the Shalom Hartman Institute, renowned for its combination of rigorous Jewish scholarship, commitment to pluralism and interfaith dialogue; and visits to the Sea of Galilee, Nazareth, and holy sites around Jerusalem.

The program includes experience at the sacred sites of all three religions who hold Jerusalem dear, and meetings with leaders from Abrahamic and other faiths. For most Fellows, this is an unprecedented opportunity to see in action within Israel the relationship between the three Abrahamic faiths; and put into practice, within a religious


Institute for International Education (IIE)

The Foundation has partnered with IIE to administer, plan and organize various aspects of the John Paul II Center, including the Russell Berrie Fellowship Porgram. IIE is among the world's largest and most experienced international education and training organizations. For more information about IIE please visit