Ecumenical & Interreligious Programs

The following programs and educational opportunities are offered through the Archdiocese of Los Angeles

Bearing Fruit – Exploring the Roots of Catholic-Jewish Relations from the Past to the Present

Bearing Fruit is a free professional development program designed by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to prepare Catholic school educators to teach about anti-Semitism, Jewish-Catholic relations throughout history, contemporary issues of prejudice, and the Holocaust.

Among the goals are:

  • To present frank and unflinching discussions of topics such as anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism, the role of the Church during the Holocaust, and contemporary manifestations of hatred.
  • To provide Catholic school educators with strategies and resources about the Holocaust and anti-Semitism.

Program presenters are Rabbi Elliot Dorff, PhD, of the American Jewish University, Rt. Rev. Alexei Smith, and Matthew Friedman of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

Read about Bearing Fruit Program

Learn more about the Bearing Fruit program presented at Saint Joseph High School in Lakewood.

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The Sultan and the Saint – Parish-based Catholic-Muslim Relations

Taking up the story of the peaceful encounter between St. Francis of Assisi and Sultan Malik al-Kamil, this program attempts to increase understanding between Christians and Muslims and to demonstrate how adherents of these two diverse religions can work together on social justice issues.

During seven sessions, basic tenets of both the Catholic and Muslim faiths are described. After demonstrating how both the Bible and Quran call for actions that promote the common good and love of neighbor, practical ways are suggested for Muslims and Catholics to come together to implement specific programs of social justice.

Program moderator is Rt. Rev. Alexei Smith.

Other Educational Opportunities

In addition to the above programs, the Archdiocesan Ecumenical & Interreligious Officer, Rt. Rev. Alexei Smith, is available for speaking engagements. Below are some examples of presentations that may be of interest to parishes, schools, or any other group setting:

  • Ecumenism 101 – A short history of Christianity and the importance of Christian Unity
  • Nostra Aetate – Vatican II Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions
  • The Covenant – Agreement between the Catholic, Episcopal & Lutheran Churches in Los Angeles
  • The Reformation – History of the Protestant Reformation and its ramifications
  • Christians in the Holy Land – The life and challenges faced by Christians living in the Holy Land
  • Mary in Islam & Catholicism – An exploration of Mary in both our own and the Muslim faith
  • Pope Francis & Other Religions – Where he is leading us in Ecumenical & Interreligious Relations

If you are interested in any of the above programs or to inquire about a speaking engagement, please contact

Rt. Rev. Alexei Smith
Ecumenical & Interreligious Officer of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles


Sandra Bossi
Volunteer Assistant to Rt. Rev. Alexei Smith