Sr. Miriam Eileen Murray is currently chair of the JPIC committee of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. She has served as assistant congregational minister, after which she assisted in the congregation's Pastoral Services office, and then volunteered with Ministry of Caring in Wilmington, Delaware. She has been a long-time advocate for justice and peace, and for a number of years organized groups of sisters to attend the annual SOA Watch event at Fort Benning, Georgia.
In September 2016, the Bridge Initiative of Georgetown University issued a disturbing report on how Catholics perceive the religion of Islam and the people who follow it. The survey indicated that only 14 percent of American Catholics have favorable views of Muslims, 30 percent have unfavorable views, while 45 percent have neither favorable nor unfavorable views. The bright spot for me is that while only 3 in 10 Catholics know a Muslim personally, those who do have a far more positive view of Muslims as a whole. So, the challenge, it seems, is to encourage at least the 45 percent to get to know an individual Muslim or a family.