A TRIBUTE TO
Fr. Herman Roborgh S.J
Anne Fairbairn AM
Dr Herman Roborgh is a Jesuit priest who completed his B.A. degree at Monash University in Melbourne before moving to Indonesia where he lived, studied and worked for almost twenty years. Subsequently, he studied for a Master of Arts in Islamic Studies at Birmingham University and moved to Pakistan where he spent the next eight years working among the people of Lahore, learning Urdu and Arabic. He wrote his PhD thesis at Aligarh Muslim University in India on a recent Urdu commentary on the Qur’an. He now teaches courses on ‘Islam in the Modern World’ and ‘Christian-Muslim Relations’ at the United Faculty of Theology in Melbourne and plans to offer similar courses in Pakistan next year.
With the human condition of growing concern,
You are wisely encouraging us all to learn
From each others beliefs and cultures, so
We shall be open minded wherever we go.
Your scholarly insights help achieve this
By reducing suspicion and prejudice.
With interfaith harmony your constant goal,
You draw many together soul-to-soul.
Since dialogue fosters understanding,
You strive daily for this not withstanding
Constant challenging issues confronting you,
You’re profoundly respected for all you do,
For by serving mankind with love and persistence
You guide us towards a harmonious existence;
Involved in discourse we shall surely be
Enriched by each faith and philosophy.
So by urging constant communication
- You are helping prevent violent confrontation.
You wisely suggest we communicate
With the Taliban and thus perhaps terminate
The tragic carnage occurring each day,
- Yes, discussion is surely the wisest way.
During Midsummer here we celebrate
The birth of One millions venerate.
You know He would spiritually embrace
Human beings, regardless of faith or race,
Showing unconditional love for others
By caring for all as sisters and brothers.
As blood from His nail-pierced feet and hands
Flowed down from the Cross on to dry desert sands
He prayed, ‘Forgive them for they know not what they do,’
- If mercilessly harmed I believe you would too.
With compassion, wisdom and humility,
Building spiritual bridges constantly,
You are healing the wounds of humanity.
For you urge members of our human family
Through dialogue to create true empathy.
- Thus achieving mutual respect and harmony.
All those aware of what you write and say,
Agree you’re a true force for goodness each day.
So I pray we shall all serve with love one another
- And treat everyone as a sister or brother.