The Church’s annual “Week of Prayer for Christian Unity” takes place January 18-25. This year, the theme is “Reconciliation-The Love of Christ Compels Us” (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:14-ff.). It draws its ecumenical impetus from the prayer of Jesus at the Last Supper, “that they may be one (John 17: 21).” As the week approaches, I would like to share a few thoughts that are the fruit of my reading and spiritual reflection.
First, a word about “unity.” Pope Francis has told us:
Unity does not imply uniformity; it does not necessarily mean doing everything together or thinking in the same way. Nor does it signify a loss of identity. Unity in diversity is actually the opposite: it involves the joyful recognition and acceptance of the various gifts which the Holy Spirit gives to each one and the placing of these gifts at the service of all members of the Church. It means knowing how to listen, to accept differences, and having the freedom to think differently and express oneself with complete respect towards the other who is my brother or sister. Do not be afraid of differences (Address to Catholic Fraternity of the Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowship, October 31, 2014)!
Similarly, his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, noted:
The way to unity remains long and laborious; yet, it is necessary not to be discouraged and to journey on, in the first place relying on the unfailing support of the One who, before ascending into Heaven, promised his followers: “I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Unity is a gift of God and the fruit of his Spirit’s action. Consequently, it is important to pray. The closer we draw to Christ, converting to his love, the closer we also draw to one another (General Audience, January 17, 2007).
Potential prison ministers invited to info session Jan. 28 Those interested in learning more about volunteering as jail and prison ministers are invited to attend an info session from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 28 in the Diocesan Chancery, 701 Lawrenceville Road, Lawrenceville. It is hosted by Vincentian Father Martin McGeough, the coordinator of Jail and Prison Ministry in the diocesan Department of Pastoral Care. More ...
Hidden Figures NEW YORK -- The struggles of the civil rights era provide the backdrop for the appealing fact-based drama "Hidden Figures" (Fox 2000). Along with a personalized insight into the injustices that still prevailed in American society in the early 1960s, director Theodore Melfi's adaptation of Margot Lee Shetterly's book -- which centers on three extraordinarily gifted mathematicians working for NASA -- successfully re-creates the tension of the Cold War space race. More ...
In the early and mid 1970s, the area of Central New Jersey was experiencing a steady settling by professionals who worked in New York and Northern New Jersey and wanted to provide a wholesome life for their families in the more affordable suburbs. The already thriving churches in the area became insufficient to serve the people of God in this area.
WASHINGTON -- Despite the seemingly contradictory reports about U.S. church attendance falling across denominations and already low percentages for believers worshipping across the globe, belief in God remains strong, said actor Morgan Freeman, the narrator of a documentary series that bears his name.
In contrast to education or health care, few think of transportation as a basic human right. But the ability to get from one place to another became an essential part of daily life as soon as farming ceased to be the way most people made a living.
Gratitude and goodbyes The sun rose this morning in dramatic flourishes of pink and orange. Never mind that later the clouds and the gray winter reasserted themselves as members of my family left for the airport. More ...