Pictured from Left to Right: Vocalist; Rev. Dr. Cheryl Sanders; Fr. Jim Gardiner, SA; Dr. Mark Hansen at the Monastery of the Holy Land in Washington DC.

Locally in the Peekskill, NY, area, and at events across the United States, men and women united in prayer with people around the world for the intention of unity between Christians. This week is one of prayer and celebration for the Friars, who carry on the legacy of their founder Father Paul Wattson, SA, Servant of God who founded the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in 1908.

Focusing on the 2019 Theme “Justice, only justice shall you pursue” (Deuteronomy 16:20), the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute (GEII) made many resources available that enabled churches, individuals, and groups to enter into the Week of Prayer more fully.

As the Week approached, Fr. Jim Loughran, SA, appeared on Sirius XM’s popular Busted Halo show on the Catholic Channel, sharing about the Week of Prayer with the show’s national audience. You may hear a recording of his interview here. 

Fr. Brian Terry, SA; Members of the Mt. Olivet Baptist Church who participated in the service; Vocalist; Fr. John Keane, SA

Fr. Jim Gardiner, SA, kicked of the Week of Prayer in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, January 17 with Evening Prayer at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America, along with Fr.Don Rooney, pastor of St. Bernadette Catholic Church, Springfield, VA, and ecumenical officer for the Diocese of Arlington, VA, and  Rev. Dr. Cheryl J. Sanders, senior pastor of the Third Street Church of God, Washington, DC.

In the Garrison area, a number of ecumenical events were held throughout the week:

  • The Rev. Canon Claire Woodley, Episcopal Diocese of Island, spoke at St. Francis Convent Chapel
  • The Rev. Emil Tomaskovic, SA, spoke at St. Pius X Library at Graymoor
  • Mr. Gerard A.J. Granado, Executive Secretary, Caribbean Conference of Churches spoke at Graymoor
  • Pastor Gary Colter, Mount Lebanon Baptist Church, Peekskill, spoke at St. Christopher’s Inn
  • Rev. Jim Loughran, SA, spoke at St. Columbanus Church
  • Father Alexis Vinogradov, Russian Orthodox Church, St. Gregory’s Church in Wappingers Falls, NY, will spoke at Our Lady of Loretto Church

Once again, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity was a time for men and women of various Christian faiths to come together in their faith in Jesus Christ, echoing His desire for unity and reconciliation.