Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of January 13, 2003
Prayer unifies different faith paths
‘We are earthen vessels, carrying God’s treasure’ —Unity week theme
By RENATO GANDIA
“We’re going to end with a silent bang.”
- Julien Hammond
“This is an archdiocesan event, but we would like to invite the ecumenical community to close together the Christian Unity week,” Hammond said.
“We want to highlight solidarity by emphasizing how individual prayers connect to the communal prayer.”
The point is to bring together the people in a prayer form that is not threatening for anyone.
“To be in silence, be together as a body of Christ. That is the bottom line, the fact that we can come together,” Hammond said.
Hammond believes the Holy Spirit is truly at work with this initiative. Before his commission even spoke with the two other co-sponsors, they have already been thinking of organizing a gathering like this for the Christian Unity Week.
Much to his surprise, the Young Adult ministry was thinking of the same thing as well as the Social Justice/Ecumenical committee of St. Charles Parish.
This will be a good time to re-energize the passion among the youth generated by the WYD, said Hammond.
Andrew Papenbrock, coordinator of Young Adult ministry, saw the positive response of people to Taize when they featured it during the Days in the Diocese, in preparation for the World Youth Day.
Most of the people they have talked to want to have the same experience.
“The interest was there and to do this at the closing of the Christian Unity week is really exciting because we can share the experience with our brothers and sisters in Christ.”
Archbishop Thomas Collins, Canadian Conference Catholic Bishops’ head of ecumenical and interfaith relations told the WCR, “I think we have a very good ecumenical relations and cooperation in Canada. I think this is a real blessing and one of the hopeful signs for the future.”
He noted however there are many issues that need to be resolved before there could be full unity between the Catholic church and various other Christian churches. Some significant doctrinal issues need to be settled because they are “important because they relate to our understanding of faith.
“As we hope for full unity to happen and while we work on that, we ask the Holy Spirit to guide us.”
Nevertheless, Collins reminded there are all kinds of ways Catholics should work together with people of other faith traditions, such as in areas of social justice and public ecumenical prayer services. The mandate of the Archbishop’s commission is to dialogue with other Christian and non-Christian traditions and to also help the Catholic church and its people to become more aware of the importance of ecumenism.
Our mission: To serve our readers by bringing the Gospel to bear on current issues in the Church and in secular culture through accurate news coverage and reflective commentary.