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Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Underway

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On January 18, Christian Churches throughout the world began observance of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.  This year’s theme is “We Will All Be Changed by the Victory of Our Lord Jesus Christ.”

In a letter to the faithful of the Diocese of Raleigh, the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge wrote of the “common witness to Christ we already share with other Christians.” Citing Jesus’ prayer “…that they may all be one” (John 17:21), Bishop Burbidge asks the faithful to “pray for this perfect unity in your intentions especially this week.”

Read Bishop Burbidge’s letter (PDF)

To commemorate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the Diocesan Ecumenical Commission will gather with the community of St. Andrew the Apostle Church in Apex at the 5:30 pm Mass, Saturday, January 21. Msgr. David D. Brockman, Vicar General of the Diocese, will be Celebrant and Homilist.

The Ecumenical Commission, which meets regularly with Bishop Burbidge, seeks to stimulate Christian unity through education, formation and social outreach awareness opportunities.  Brother William Martyn, S.A., Ecumenical Commission Chair, said the Commission reflects an important aspect of our baptismal commitment, by which we are bound to pray for Christian unity and to work toward it. “Jesus prayed ‘that they may all be one’ (John 17.21),” Brother Martyn said, “and Pope John Paul II made Christian unity a principle of the Church.”

On February 20, the North Carolina Council of Churches’ Christian Unity Committee is sponsoring the 2012 Conference on the Common Good. The title of this year’s gathering is “Catholic Social Teaching: A Vision for the Common Good.”   Rev. Dr. Brian Johnstone, Professor of Moral Theology at Catholic University of America, will be the guest speaker.  He will discuss the two Papal documents. The first is Rerum Novarum, crafted by Pope Leo XIII in 1891, which is the foundation of Catholic social teaching. The second is Centesimus Annus, put forth by Blessed John Paul II in 1991 on the 100 anniversary of Pope Leo’s document. 

The conference will take place at Raleigh’s Highland United Methodist Church from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The public is invited to attend.