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The National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education at Seton Hill University will honor Eugene Fisher, Ph.D., with the Nostra Aetate Award at its “Bringing Worlds Together” event on Thursday, October 23. The award presentation, which will include a presentation by Dr. Fisher, will begin at 6 p.m. in Saint Joseph Chapel on Seton Hill’s Greensburg, Pa. campus. It is free and open to the public. The award ceremony will be followed by a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception and silent auction to benefit the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education. Cost for the reception is $100, or $150 if you would like to be listed in the event program. To make a reservation for the reception, please call 724-830-1033. Parking for “Bringing Worlds Together” will be at the Albert J. Grillo lot on Seton Hill Drive behind the Greensburg train station. A free shuttle to Seton Hill’s campus will be provided.

Dr. Eugene Fisher is the former associate director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), in charge of Catholic-Jewish relations, a position he held from 1977 - 2007. Dr. Fisher was the first layperson to hold the USCCB post. Prior to 1977, Dr. Fisher was director of Catechist Formation for the Archdiocese of Detroit, and served as an adjunct professor at St. John’s Seminary in Plymouth, Mich., and at the University of Detroit. His doctoral degree is in Hebrew Culture and Education from New York University. Dr. Fisher serves on the Advisory Board of the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education, and is a member of the Catholic Biblical Association, the National Association of Professors of Hebrew, and the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL). He has lectured widely throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America, and Australia, and has published twenty books and monographs, and more than 250 articles in major religious journals. In April of 1981, Dr. Fisher was appointed by Pope John Paul II to be Consulter to the Vatican Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews. In 1985, he was named a member of the International Vatican-Jewish Liaison Committee, representing the Holy See.

“Bringing Worlds Together” event chairs are George Shaner, Michael Philopena, and Mary Catherine Motchar, who were motivated to become more involved in supporting the work of the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education after participating in an interfaith tour of Israel sponsored by the Center. Honorary co-chairs of the event are Sister Gemma Del Duca, S.C., and Sister Noel Kernan, S.C., Center co-founders.

Established by Seton Hill in 1991, the Nostra Aetate Award acknowledges distinguished and scholarly work done by an individual in the field of Catholic-Jewish relations. Named for the first Vatican II documents to address the Catholic Church’s relationship with non-Christian religions, the award recognizes work that has resulted in interfaith understanding and has promoted an increased awareness of the ways in which religious values are brought to bear on contemporary society.

The National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education (NCCHE) was established on the campus of Seton Hill University in 1987. Seton Hill initiated this national Catholic movement toward Holocaust studies in response to the urging of Pope John Paul II to recognize the significance of the Shoah, the Holocaust, and to "promote the necessary historical and religious studies on this event which concerns the whole of humanity today." The NCCHE has as its primary purpose the broad dissemination of scholarship on the root causes of anti-Semitism, its relation to the Holocaust and the implications from the Catholic perspective of both for today's world. Toward this end the Center is committed to equipping scholars, especially those at Catholic institutions, to enter into serious discussion on the causes of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust; shaping appropriate curricular responses at Catholic institutions and other educational sites; sustaining Seton Hill's Catholic Institute for Holocaust Studies in Israel through a cooperative program with Yad Vashem, the Isaac Jacob Institute for Religious Law and Hebrew University; encouraging scholarship and research through conferences, publications, workshops for educators, and similar activities; sponsoring local events on the Holocaust and related topics in the University and the community and enhancing Catholic-Jewish relations. Please contact the NCCHE by calling 724-830-1033 or sending an e-mail to