Week of Prayer for Christian Unity - Ecumenical Prayer Service Print

1_RevGordonScrutonOn Friday evening, January 21, 2011, in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit, on the campus of Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts, the third annual service for Church Unity during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity brought together Christians of many churches throughout the Commonwealth in spite of the inclement weather.

In his welcoming remarks, Dr. Francesco Cesareo, president of the College, alluded to Pope Benedict’s remarks during his weekly catechesis this past when he said, “We are celebrating the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, in which all believers in Christ are invited to join in prayer to witness the profound bond that exists among them and to invoke the gift of full communion. Providential is the fact that prayer is placed at the center of the path to build unity: this reminds us, once again, that unity cannot be a simple product of human action; it is above all a gift of God, which entails growth in communion with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

1_MethodiosThis event was blessed with the presence of His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios, of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston, The Most Rev. Robert J. McManus, Catholic bishop of he Diocese of Worcester, and The Right reverend Gordon P. Scruton, Episcopal bishop of the Diocese of Western Massachusetts. The Reverend Paul Sinnott of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, representing  Bishop Margaret G. Payne, gave the sermon in which he addressed the major theme of this year’s service, peace and unity in the Holy Land. He called for an end to injustice and violence and urged Christians to get involved in the plight of those who are suffering.

As President Cesareo mentioned in his opening remarks, Assumption College, founded and sponsored by the Assumptionists, has had a sustained interest in and commitment to Christian Unity as a result of the charism bequeathed to them by their founder, Venerable Emmanuel d’Alzon. At the very beginning of the Assumptionist Rule of Life, one reads “Faithful to the will of Fr. d’Alzon, our communities are at the service of truth, unity, and charity. In this way they herald the Kingdom.”

Perhaps the spirit of the evening could be summarized in one of the prayers recited together by the congregation:

1_MacmanusGod of Hope, we give you thanks fr the revelation of your truth in Jesus
Christ, your Living Word, which we have received through the apostles’
teaching, first heard in Jerusalem. May your Holy Spirit continue to
sanctify us in truth of your Son, so that united in Him we may grow in
devotion to the Word, and together serve your Kingdom in humility and love.

Last Updated on Monday, 24 January 2011 23:37