Our Ecumenical Ministries & Interfaith Dialogue
Jesus himself prayed at the hour of his Passion, and does not cease praying to his Father, for the unity of his disciples: “That they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be one in us. . . so that the world may know that you have sent me.”
Servant of God Father Paul of Graymoor believed it was a special calling that he and his Friars should work toward unity of the Church and all people. Through prayer and dialogue, the Friars of the Atonement contribute to the unity of God’s people, encouraging discourse among all faiths to lead to better understanding and peace.
For Friars and Sisters of the Atonement, each year the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity rekindles their vocation to live, pray and minister “that all may be one…”. First celebrated at Graymoor in 1908, what began as the Church Unity Octave is now an annual worldwide observance among Christians, usually held in January.
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
Father Paul of Graymoor felt the greatest undertaking of the Friars and Sisters of the Atonement was to inaugurate the Church Unity Octave. While still within the Episcopal Church, Father Paul Wattson and Mother Lurana White set aside the period of eight days (January 18th through 25th, the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul) for the purpose of praying for the unity which was prayed for by Christ Himself.
Since 1966, the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches and the Vatican Secretariat (now Council) for Promoting Christian Unity began collaborating on a common international text for worldwide usage. Since 1968, these international texts, which are based on themes proposed by ecumenical groups around the world, have been developed, adapted and published for use in the United States by the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute.
2023 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute
The Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute (GEII), a ministry of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement, is an information and service organization serving primarily, but not exclusively, the Roman Catholic Church in the United States in its mission of Christian Unity and interreligious dialogue.
The GEII fulfills its mission through participation in interreligious dialogue, study, and research; providing resources, lectures, and information to those interested in ecumenism; and co-Sponsorship of the biennial Northeast Ecumenical Institute at Graymoor. GEII’s journal, Ecumenical Trends, published 6 times a year, has won awards from the Catholic Press Association.
Centro Pro Unione
The Centro Pro Unione, founded and directed by the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement, is an ecumenical research and action center located in Rome, Italy. Its purpose is to give space for dialogue, to be a place for study, research, and formation in ecumenism: theological, pastoral, social, and spiritual.
The Centro accomplishes its goals by publishing the semiannual Centro Pro Unione Bulletin; providing a summer course in Ecumenism; hosting conferences and lectures; engaging in cooperation and collaboration with other ecumenical organizations and agencies; and sponsoring the Annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
Paul Wattson Lectures
The Paul Wattson Lectures honor the memory of Servant of God Father Paul of Graymoor (1863–1940), founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement and pioneer for the cause of Christian Unity. The lectures annually feature national and international leaders in the fields of ecumenism and interreligious dialogue to speak on current topics of interest.
Ecumenical Trends is the bimonthly journal of Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute, which publishes articles on the ecumenical and interreligious movements. The journal is available in print and online. Ecumenical Trends reports on current trends and progress in these movements around the world. It covers theological consultations, conversations, dialogues and cooperation, and it notes the availability of documents and resources. Ecumenical Trends occasionally publishes the text of dialogue documents.
Regularly, Ecumenical Trends features exclusive interviews with leaders in the ecumenical and interreligious fields. Those interviews are here made available to the general public.