The Heritage and Benefactor Appreciation Day on June 7 was an occasion for the benefactors to see more fully the great work they are a part of through their support as well as to pray to St. Anthony for his intercession. Benefactors attended Mass and a reception at the St. Anthony Shrine, a popular pilgrimage spot that has been visited by tens of thousands over the years. For the Friars, many benefactors, and so many men and women who have asked for prayers, St. Anthony is a special patron, a miracle-worker who has aided many pilgrims and supplicants. After Mass, the benefactors attended a luncheon and received an update on the Friars ministries. Some of the ministries in which the Friars serve - such as the Graymoor Books and Gift Center, the pilgrimage spots, the Graymoor Spiritual Life Center, and St. Christopher’s Inn - are located at Graymoor itself, giving the benefactors a chance to see the fruit of their generosity. The Friars recognize that the abundant good work that is accomplished through their many ministries - from helping men suffering from drug addictions to building bridges through ecumenical dialogue - is not due solely to their own labor. Rather, they rely on the prayers and financial support of many others who believe in Servant of God Fr. Paul of Graymoor’s mission of “At-One-Ment”, as well as the intercession of saints such as St. Anthony. St. Anthony, pray for us!
When Pope Francis announced earlier this year that the Church would recognize Mary under a new title “Mary, Mother of the Church”, Fr. Elias Mallon, SA, was asked to author a series of articles about this title for the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA), an organization co-founded by Servant of God, Father Paul Wattson, SA. Fr. Elias, a Franciscan Friar of the Atonement who works at CNEWA, took the series a step further by comparing devotion to Mary in the Western and Eastern (Byzantine and Orthodox) Churches. In the first article, “Hail Mary, Mother of the Church”, Fr. Elias explains:
“The number of titles given to Mary in the Roman Catholic Church almost goes beyond counting. Some, like Mother of God (Greek: theotokos) are extremely ancient, while others like Mother of the Church seem more recent. In a sense,”Mary, Mother of the Church” is a title both ancient and recent.”Read the rest here. In the first article, he lays out a roadmap for the subsequent reflections, saying:
“In the next two weeks we will look at how two ancient traditions — Catholic in the west and Orthodox in the east — revere and honor Mary, Mother of the Lord and Mother of the Church. Each tradition can enrich and also act as a corrective to the veneration of Mary among Christians.”You may find the second article Hailing Mary: Part 2 - Devotion to Mary in the West here. The third article, Hailing Mary: Part 3 - Devotion to Mary in the East may be found here.
The 2019 theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has been selected. Justice, Only Justice You Shall Pursue (cf. Deuteronomy 16:20).
The Franciscan At-One-Ment Mission Project participants for 2018 have been selected and are eager to begin working alongside the Friars. From June 14- August 12, Eric Britt and George Nemanich will be learning and serving through the Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute (GEII).
Cultural and Theological Reflections on the Japanese Quest for Divinity by Fr. John J. Keane, S.A., has been chosen to be included as part of a series by the distinguished Brill Publishers. The peer-reviewed series, Theology and Mission in World Christianity, features academic scholarship that spans global thought regarding philosophy, religion, and the Christian identity.
Under the leadership of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement, the Centro Pro Unione in Rome, Italy, is celebrating its 50th year of operation. With a mission of advancing relationships and respectful communication between Christian traditions, as well as other religious faiths, the Centro has proven over the decades to be a pillar of ecumenical dialogue and research.
On April 26th, during a Benefactors Appreciation celebration at Graymoor, three generous couples donated The Trail of Glory, an expansive collection of religious art, to the Friars. The Trail of Glory, which consists of 67 oil paintings that depict the Gospel of John, were created by Helen Owen and inspired by the studies of Johannine scholar, Fr. John Gerhard, S.J.
Fr. Jim Loughran, SA and Fr. Tom Orians, SA, Director and Associate Director of the Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute (GEII), along with Fr. Jim Puglisi, SA, Director of Centro Pro Unione, the Friars ecumenical research and action center in Rome, all traveled to Silver Spring, Maryland in mid-April for the National Workshop for Christian Unity. This annual gathering of ecumenical representatives, ecumenists, and interested members from all churches, is presented by the Catholic Association of Diocesan Ecumenical & Interreligious Officers (CADEIO), where Fr. Jim Gardiner, SA and Fr. Wil Tyrell, SA both serve as regional representatives. The workshop opened on Tuesday morning with the annual Graymoor breakfast, hosted by the Friars. Participants look forward to this opportunity to network among ecumenical friends, explore topics of religion and politics, equity and justice, and an increasingly complex multi-faith landscape in the nation. The Graymoor breakfast was followed by a Workshop Plenary on Justification, Justice & Sanctification, where Fr. Jim Loughran served as the Catholic participant in a panel discussion. The other panelists were Presbyterian, Methodist and Lutheran. The primary focus for the 2018 workshop, which was working together on a common journey as followers of Jesus to heal wounds of discord and separation so that the world may believe, is a cause that is at the very foundation of the Society of the Atonement. The Friars have been leaders in promoting Christian Unity since the founding of the Society of the Atonement in 1898.