Archive for 2008

Archive pour 2008

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100th anniversary of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

2008 is the 100th anniversary of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in the United States. In 1908, the Rev. Paul Wattson, founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement, suggested that the period between January 18 and 25 be an octave of prayer for Christian unity. In this proposal, he was giving form to Pope Leo XIII’s 1894 call for an octave of prayer, and to earlier suggestions from the Lambeth Conference and various other leaders. Wattson and the Friars observed the octave at Graymoor beginning in 1908, and championed the octave throughout the United States. In France, efforts to establish the octave in France were led by Fr. Paul Couturier beginning in the late 1920s. Further details can be found in our “A brief history of the Week of Prayer” written by Nicholas Jesson.

2008 offers an opportunity to look back at our efforts at Christian unity and to recognize the central importance of prayer together in Jesus’ name. A new website for the 100th anniversary observances has been established at the Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute.
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Posted: January 5, 2008 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=402
Categories: NewsIn this article: Graymoor, WPCU
Transmis : 5 janvier 2008 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=402
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : Graymoor, WPCU


Pray without ceasing: 2008 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

“Pray without ceasing” is the theme of the 2008 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Celebrated in Canada from January 20 to 27th, this year the theme is drawn from the St. Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians (I Th. 5:17). Paul’s encouragement to pray without ceasing is particularly apt for this year’s Week of Prayer which commemorates the 100th anniversary of this annual observance.

The materials from the 2008 WPCU international resource package are available for download in PDF format. Adapt these materials in your own settings, and print the worship service freely in your own church bulletins.

Worship services and other events are scheduled across Canada and around the world. Events are listed on this website for Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Saskatoon, Victoria, and Winnipeg. If you would like us to list your WPCU event in Canada, please email the webeditor.
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Posted: January 9, 2008 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=403
Categories: NewsIn this article: 2008, Canada, prayer, WPCU
Transmis : 9 janvier 2008 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=403
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : 2008, Canada, prayer, WPCU


100 years in search of Christian unity

If you pray for something for 100 years you might find the prayer refines itself in the light of new realities, and then perhaps the prayer itself deepens your understanding and broadens your horizon. For 100 years Christians have been formally setting aside seven or eight days in January to pray with Christ for unity. “It’s really about being on our knees together and praying for the unity that is willed by God, in the way God wants, when God wants,” [Marianist] Father Luis Melo told The Catholic Register.

After 100 years of acknowledging Jesus’ last will and testament in prayer, the theme for this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is “Pray Without Ceasing.” “We’ve come to a new level of maturity in terms of ecumenical activity,” said Atonement Friar Father Damian MacPherson, ecumenical and interfaith affairs officer for the archdiocese of Toronto. “Perhaps that’s why it’s becoming more difficult.”

Glib talk of an easy and obvious unity among Christians may have been common in the first decade or more after the Second Vatican Council, but as churches make substantial progress — the 1999 Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification with the Lutheran World Federation and the 1965 rescinding of the excommunications of 1054 between Orthodox and Catholic Churches — ecumenists begin to see how long the road to unity might be. “We cannot be looking for giant steps. It’s painfully slow, painfully slow,” said MacPherson. “Patience is the hallmark of the good ecumenist.”
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Posted: January 11, 2008 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=404
Categories: Catholic RegisterIn this article: WPCU
Transmis : 11 janvier 2008 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=404
Catégorie : Catholic RegisterDans cet article : WPCU


Common ground sought in special week of prayer

This year marks the 100th anniversary of International Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in North America, and the 20th anniversary of the event in Saskatoon. Sister Juliana Heisler, director of parish life at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, has witnessed a steady increase in interest over the past two decades. “Services of prayer
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Posted: January 12, 2008 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=6112
Categories: NewsIn this article: Prairie Centre for Ecumenism, Saskatoon, WPCU
Transmis : 12 janvier 2008 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=6112
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : Prairie Centre for Ecumenism, Saskatoon, WPCU


Praying together for Christian unity throughout a century of changes

Although prayer is certainly at the heart of Christian life, praying together is not an easy exercise for churches within worldwide Christendom. Even today, common prayers are exceptional events rather than part of the daily life of the churches. But at least once a year it has become “normal” for many churches and congregations to pray together during the annual celebration of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. In 2008, the 100th anniversary of this most meaningful ecumenical initiative is being celebrated around the globe.
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Posted: January 14, 2008 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=405
Categories: WCC News
Transmis : 14 janvier 2008 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=405
Catégorie : WCC News


Un siècle de prière pour l’unité des chrétiens

Bien que la prière soit sans nul doute au coeur de la vie chrétienne, prier ensemble n’est pas une tâche facile pour les Eglises qui forment la chrétienté mondiale. Même aujourd’hui, les prières communes sont des événements exceptionnels plutôt qu’une partie de la vie quotidienne des Eglises. Mais au moins une fois par an, il est devenu “normal” pour beaucoup d’Eglises et de communautés de prier ensemble lors de la célébration annuelle de la Semaine de prière pour l’unité des chrétiens. En 2008, le 100e anniversaire de cette initiative œcuménique hautement significative est célébré partout dans le monde.
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Posted: January 15, 2008 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=406
Categories: News
Transmis : 15 janvier 2008 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=406
Catégorie : News


Week of Prayer, day 1: Pray always

The 2008 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is being observed in Canada from January 20 to 27th. The theme is taken from I Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.”

One resource for the Week is a series of biblical reflections for the 8 days. Today’s reflection for Day 1 has been posted on our website.
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Posted: January 20, 2008 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=407
Categories: NewsIn this article: 2008, prayer, WPCU
Transmis : 20 janvier 2008 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=407
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : 2008, prayer, WPCU


Week of Prayer, day 2: Pray always, trusting God alone

The 2008 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is being observed in Canada from January 20 to 27th. The theme is taken from I Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.”

One resource for the Week is a series of biblical reflections for the 8 days. Today’s reflection for Day 2 has been posted on our website.

Give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thess 5: 18)

1 Kings 18:20-40 • The Lord indeed is God
Ps 23 • The Lord is my shepherd
1 Thess 5: (12a)13b-18 • Give thanks in all circumstances
Jn 11:17-44 • Father, I thank you for having heard me

Commentary

Praying is rooted in the trust that God is powerful and faithful. God alone is the one who holds all in his hands, the present and the future. His word is credible and truthful.

The story of Elijah in 1 Kings impressively demonstrates the oneness of God. Elijah berates the apostates who worship Baal, who is not answering their prayers. Yet when Elijah prays to the one God of Israel, the response is immediate and miraculous. Realizing this, the people turned their hearts back to God.

Psalm 23 is a profound confession of trust. It depicts a person who believes that God guides him and stays with him also in the darkness of life and in situations of desolation and oppression.

We may find circumstances that may be difficult, even turbulent. We may have moments of despair and resignation. Sometimes we feel that God is hidden. But he is not absent. He will manifest his power to liberate in the midst of human struggle. Thus we give thanks to him in all circumstances.

The raising of Lazarus from the dead is one of the most dramatic scenes recorded in John’s gospel. It is a manifestation of Christ’s power to break the bonds of death and an anticipation of the new creation. In the presence of the people Jesus prays aloud, thanking his Father for the mighty deeds he will do. God’s saving work is accomplished through Christ so that all will come to believe.

The ecumenical pilgrimage is a way in which we realize the wondrous deeds of God. Christian communities which have been separated from each other come together. They discover their unity in Christ and come to understand that they are each part of one church and need one another.

The vision of unity can be darkened. It is sometimes threatened by frustrations and tensions. The question may arise whether we Christians are truly called to stay together. Our continuous praying sustains us as we look to God and trust in him. We are confident that he is still at work in us and will lead us to the light of his victory. His kingdom begins with our reconciliation and growing unity.

Prayer

God of all creation, hear your children as we pray. Help us keep our faith and trust in you. Teach us to give thanks in all circumstances, relying on your mercy. Give us truth and wisdom, that your church may arise to new life in one fellowship. You alone are our hope. Amen.

***

Source: 2008 Resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity jointly prepared and published by the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity and the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches.
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Posted: January 21, 2008 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=408
Categories: NewsIn this article: 2008, prayer, WPCU
Transmis : 21 janvier 2008 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=408
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : 2008, prayer, WPCU


Catholic bishops publish protocols for preventing sexual abuse

[CCCB press release] The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) is pursuing the work it began nearly 20 years ago on sexual abuse by publishing Orientations for diocesan sexual abuse protocols.

The document is intended to assist Catholic dioceses in Canada in updating their diocesan protocols for the prevention of sexual abuse and for their pastoral response to complaints about possible sexual abuse of minors by clergy or other personnel under diocesan responsibility.

By publishing the Orientations, the CCCB is supporting the work of the Bishops who continue to ensure appropriate measures in their respective dioceses, so children can be in a safe pastoral environment.

The Orientations repeat, clarify and reinforce the recommendations in From Pain to Hope which has been an indispensable reference since its publication in 1992 by the Catholic Bishops of Canada.

The Orientations are the result of extensive consultations – including with victims – and a long, though necessary and fruitful reflection and analysis. Lay experts were also consulted, including specialists in child psychology and others working with young adults and children on a regular basis. The expertise of dioceses, religious organizations and other institutions such as community groups, schools, and sports clubs was also sought out so their experiences as well as research helped to shape the document being made public today.

“These new orientations add to the wide array of resources which the dioceses already have to help improve their diocesan protocols for sexual abuse. The priority is to prevent abuse of any kind, respond to complaints, offer full collaboration with civil authorities, and reduce the risk of sexual abuse,” stated Most Reverend V. James Weisgerber, Archbishop of Winnipeg and President of the CCCB.

Because each diocesan Bishop is autonomous, each is responsible for adopting a diocesan protocol, as well as initiating, supporting and maintaining the means for preventing sexual abuse, and also for responding to abuse complaints in the diocese.
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Posted: January 21, 2008 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=409
Categories: NewsIn this article: Catholic
Transmis : 21 janvier 2008 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=409
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : Catholic


Week of Prayer, day 3: Pray without ceasing for the conversion of hearts

The 2008 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is being observed in Canada from January 20 to 27th. The theme is taken from I Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.”

One resource for the Week is a series of biblical reflections for the 8 days. Today’s reflection for Day 3 has been posted on our website.

Admonish the idlers, encourage the faint-hearted (1Thess 5 : 14)

Jon 3: 1-10 • The repentance of Nineveh
Ps 51: 8-15 • Create a pure heart in me
1 Thess 5: (12a)13b-18 • Encourage the faint-hearted
Mk 11: 15-17 • A house of prayer

Commentary

In the beginning and at the heart of the ecumenical enterprise can be found a pressing call to repentance and to conversion. We sometimes need to know how to call each other to task within our Christian communities as Paul invites us to do in the first epistle to the Thessalonians. If one or the other causes division, he should be rebuked; if some are afraid of all that a difficult reconciliation could imply, they should be encouraged.

Why hide the fact? If divisions between Christians exist, it is also through a lack of will to be committed to ecumenical dialogue and even, simply, to prayer for unity.

The Bible tells us how God sent Jonah to rebuke Nineveh and how the whole city repented. In the same way, Christian communities must listen to the Word of God and repent. In the course of the last century, we have not been lacking in prophets of unity who have made Christians aware of the unfaithfulness manifest in our divisions and reminding them of the urgency of reconciliation.

In the image of the vigorous intervention of Jesus in the temple, the call to Christian reconciliation can seriously call into question our narrow self-understanding. We too have a great need of purification. We need to know how to rid our hearts of all that prevents them from being a true house of prayer, concerned for the unity of all peoples.

Prayer

Lord you desire truth deep-down within us: in the secret of our hearts, you teach us wisdom. Teach us to encourage each other along the road to unity. Show us the conversion necessary for reconciliation. Give to each of us a new, truly ecumenical heart, we pray you. Amen.

***

Source: 2008 Resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity jointly prepared and published by the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity and the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches.
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Posted: January 22, 2008 • Permanent link: ecu.net/?p=410
Categories: NewsIn this article: 2008, prayer, WPCU
Transmis : 22 janvier 2008 • Lien permanente : ecu.net/?p=410
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : 2008, prayer, WPCU


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