Desideri House is a Jesuit venture in Kathmandu, Nepal that functions as a centre for interfaith learning and dialogue, allowing scholars, students, clergy, and religious an opportunity to gain a more profound understanding of South Asian religious traditions, especially Buddhism and Hinduism.
It is named in honor of Ippolito Desideri, the Italian Jesuit who, in the early 18th century, became the first European to master the Tibetan language and to gain a profound understanding of Buddhism by studying with the monks of Lhasa’s Sera Monastery.
Established in the summer of 2012, Desideri House is located in the neighborhood that surrounds the Boudha Stupa, an important pilgrimage site, sacred to Mahayana Buddhists. The area is home to a predominantly Buddhist population, including a large number of Tibetan refugees, and Nepalese who have migrated from the Himalayan regions.
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About Father Gregory Sharkey SJ
Gregory Sharkey, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a Catholic priest and member of the Society of Jesus -- the Jesuits -- for whom he serves as advisor on relations with Buddhism. After his bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College, and graduate degrees in theology and philosophy, he earned an MPhil in Sanskrit, and a doctorate in Buddhist Studies at Oxford University, where he specialized in Newar Buddhism. He teaches at the Kathmandu University Centre for Buddhist Studies and lectures regularly on the religions of Nepal.