Fr. Tom Orians, SA, Fr. Jim Puglisi, SA, Fr. Jim Loughran, SA, and Fr. Jim Gardiner, SA, travelled to St. Louis, MO, in early April to meet with other religious leaders of various denominations for The National Workshop on Christian Unity. The only gathering of its kind on a national level, the Workshop has advanced unity and reconciliation among various Christian communities for more than 50 years.
The theme of this year’s National Workshop for Christian Unity was “Equipping Church Leaders in the Work of Christian Unity”. This theme is central to the At-One-Ment charism of the Friars and, therefore, an important opportunity to continue to work towards the vision of unity that Jesus Christ proclaimed on the Cross, and that Fr. Paul Wattson, SA, and the Friars have continually sought to fulfill since the founding of the Society of the Atonement.
The presence of the Friars was seen in a variety of ways throughout the Workshop. The opening worship service was modeled completely upon the materials the Graymoor Ecumenical & Interfaith Institute prepares annually for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Once again, the Friars sponsored the annual Graymoor Breakfast, which serves as a tool for furthering the dialogue and networking between the attendees. In addition, Associate Director of the Centro Pro Unione Dr. Teresa Rossi participated via video in a Plenary Session for all those in attendance on the Catholic/Pentecostal International Dialogues.
The Friars have long been a leader in ecumenical and interreligious dialogue in our country. This charism, of course, was initiated by Fr. Paul and is now carried out primarily through the Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute. This Workshop is one of many events and initiatives undertaken by GEII each year to foster Christian unity and interreligious dialogue.
In addition, during the Workshop Fr. Jim Gardiner, SA, was re-appointed as regional representative to the board of the Catholic Association of Diocesan Ecumenical and Interreligious Officers (CADEIO) and CADEIO representative to the Episcopal Diocesan Ecumenical and Interreligious Officers group.
Find out more about GEII’s important work here.