Bahá'ís of Ottawa come from a variety of backgrounds, brought together
by a common belief in the oneness of humanity and the unity of
religion. We work alongside others to become a force of positive
change, applying insights from the Bahá'í teachings to bring about a
more just, peaceful and unified community.
rises for Chile Temple inauguration
The world-wide Baha'i community
envisions a time when every community will have its own Baha'i temple,
which is open to everyone regardless of race or religion to gather and
offer prayer and devotions. These temples will serve to strengthen our
individual spiritual connections with the Creator while fostering
collective bonds through service to their community. This long term
vision started with the goal of having Baha'i temples in every
continent. During the 20th century, continental temples were built in
the USA (Chicago), Germany (Frankfurt), Uganda (Kampala), Australia
(Sydney), India (New Delhi), Panama and Samoa (Apia). In 2010,
excavation work began to signal construction work on the last of the
continental temples in Santiago, Chile.
View Photo Callery
The construction of this last continental Baha'i temple has reached its
historic conclusion and the Chile Temple will be officially opened
through a dedication ceremony in mid-October. Further details can be
found in the following article from the Baha'i International Community
- including a notice that live video coverage of the public opening
ceremony will be provided on the Baha'i World News Service website on
13 October, 14:00 GMT, for approximately 90 minutes. People around the
world will be able to watch this historic event, marking the dedication
of the final continental Baha'i Temple.
Baha'is in Ottawa will be gathering in families and small groups to
watch this historic occasion online and some local Baha'is will be
traveling to Chile to be part of the ceremonies marking the opening of
the Temple - stay tuned for their stories when they return.
BAHÁ'Í WORLD NEWS SERVICE
SANTIAGO — A surge of excitement and anticipation is palpable among the
Baha'i community in Santiago and abroad as the inauguration of the last
of the continental Baha'i Houses of Worship approaches.
The President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, is expected to attend the
opening ceremony with other dignitaries.
Growing media coverage has brought attention to the significance of
this landmark, and recent articles (see here and here for examples)
have highlighted the uniqueness of this sacred structure. Like all
Baha'i Temples, its nine-sided design stands as a unifying symbol of
the oneness of humankind. The firm behind the Temple's design, Hariri
Pontarini Architects, has described it as "a Temple of light,
expressing a faith of inclusion".
A feature report, produced by
the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation,
offers a compelling exploration of the conception and design of the
Meanwhile, the Baha'i community of Chile is preparing to welcome
thousands of people for the inauguration, which will take place from
13-16 October. Representatives of indigenous populations and national
Baha'i communities throughout Latin America, along with individuals and
groups from nearly every other continent, will join the celebrations
for the three days following the public opening.
Live video coverage of the public opening ceremony will be provided on
the Baha'i World News Service website on 13 October, 14:00 GMT, for
approximately 90 minutes. People around the world will be able to watch
this historic event, marking the dedication of the final continental
A video capturing the majesty of the superstructure is available here.
Bahá’ís Participate in Sri Chinmoy’s 2016 Peace Run Welcoming Ceremony
“May you become as the waves of
one sea, stars of the same heaven, fruits adorning the same tree, roses
of one garden in order that through you the oneness of humanity may
establish its temple in the world of mankind” - Abdu’l-Bahá
On the morning of
August 3, 2016 Mrs. Wendy James chanted these words
by the son of Bahá’u’lláh, the Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, during an
interfaith welcoming ceremony in Ottawa’s International Peace Garden.
This gathering, which included diplomats and representatives from six
faith communities, honoured more than a dozen runners from Canada,
Australia, Ukraine, Slovakia and Germany who have been running
throughout the United States and Canada since April in support
international peace and harmony.
Mr. Salil Wilson, the Global Executive Director of the Run, told the
approximately sixty participants at the welcome ceremony that this
annual run was founded in 1987 by meditation master Sri Chinmoy. After
leading meditation sessions at the United Nations, Sri Chinmoy invited
runners from across the globe to bring a torch of peace across the
world. During these runs, said Mr. Wilson, it becomes evident that what
unites us is far greater than what divides us. People everywhere want
happy and loving lives.
Sixteen members of Ottawa’s
diplomatic corps, representing countries in
Africa, South and Central America, Australia, the Caribbean, and Europe
added words of support and encouragement to the runners. Peace starts
with each individual, said one; another emphasized the need to make
peace with one’s enemies, for it is easy to be peaceful with one’s
friends; while another speaker stressed the importance of respect at
the grassroots levels. The representative of Costa Rica, which
disbanded its army in 1948 and established a university for peace,
spoke of the need to educate people in peace.
Before chanting the words of Abdu’l-Bahá,
Mrs. James mentioned that
Bahá’ís around the world were working to establish a culture of peace
with children, youth and adults, seeing all as members of one human
family, confident that, in the words of Bahá’u’lláh, “these fruitless
strifes, these ruinous wars shall pass away and the most great peace
Ottawa Youth Group Translating Bahá’í Study into Community Service
Since 2013, a group of youth
from the Nepean area have been growing together as they have completed
five books in the Ruhi Institute series. As they
have gained the
knowledge, skills and capacity to serve their community they have been
putting knowledge into action in the spirit of Bahá’u’llah’s
“Let deeds, not words, be your adorning.”
David Pittis facilitates the youth group with his wife Tamara. "It's
important for me to help youth develop a pattern of life that includes
service to humanity as a firm and ongoing component,” he said.
As a natural outgrowth of their learning and discussions, the group has
taken on greater responsibilities in their community, hosting
devotional gatherings and Holy Day celebrations. After learning about
the importance of spiritual education they are now playing leadership
roles by animating junior youth groups or helping to run children’s
To Bahá’ís, youth is an important period of life when one has the
opportunity to develop healthy habits of a life in service to humanity.
Teens can connect easily with the younger generations. They can
accompany each other in their moral and spiritual development as true
“I feel the Ruhi institute courses have helped me find the courage and
strength to serve my community alongside my friends,” said Mateen
Siushansian. He animates a junior youth group in Nepean. Youth like
him, he thought, could work with those younger than them, as a role
model and as someone who could “help them when they need it.” Ray
Scully, another youth in the group felt that “studying together has
helped me to understand more about the Bahá’í Writings.”