The week of January 18-25 marks the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, providing Christians the opportunity to continue their quest for unity that they already share in Jesus. To mark the observance, the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge celebrated the annual Mass for Christian Unity, Sunday, January 16 at St. Ann Catholic Church in Fayetteville.
Bishop Burbidge used the occasion to pay tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior, whom the nation honoured on January 17. In his homily, the Bishop noted the words of the First Reading of the day taken from Isaiah, who spoke of darkness covering the earth. Bishop Burbidge cited abortion and the recent violence in Tucson as examples of the darkness present in our world today.
“If we look at the darkness and are deceived into thinking that there is nothing we can do to transform these situations, we could be led to despair,” Bishop Burbidge said. “Thus, today the Word of God seeks to uplift us and encourage us and calls us to act. The prophet Isaiah reminds us that we are called to be a ‘light to all the nations.’”
Bishop Burbidge reflected that through Dr. King’s words and the example of his life, he taught us how we can be a “light to all the nations.” The Bishop said, we honor Dr. Martin Luther King when we work for unity and carry the Light of Christ to others and by making “sure that there is no place in our words and actions (in any form) for racism, bigotry and prejudice.”
The Bishop added, “If we find our strength in the Lord, we will have all we need to go forth this day and every day to be a ‘light for all the nations.’”
Bishop Burbidge will preside at a special Ecumenical Prayer Service to be held at St. Peter Catholic Church in Greenville, January 19. The service will convene at 11:00 AM. The faithful are invited to attend.
Above: Bishop Michael F. Burbidge celebrating the Mass for Christian Unity at St. Ann Catholic Church in Fayetteville.
Below: Members of the Diocesan Knights of St. Peter Claver attending Mass. The Knights are part of the largest African American lay Catholic fraternal organization in the United States with chapters in more than 400 parishes.