The theme for 2020’s Week Of Prayer for Christian Unity was lived well by the Friars and all who worked to display “unusual kindness” as they gathered together throughout the week of January 18th-25th. The Week of Prayer has become an important moment for the universal Church – even the Holy Father reflected upon it on January 25, the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. 

A series of ecumenical prayer services took place on the Holy Mountain of Graymoor, as well as other locations throughout the country, to celebrate this annual event. The Friars did much to promote, plan, host, and lead events designed to celebrate and learn more about the desire for unity among all Christian faiths.

Here are a few highlights from the Week Of Prayer for Christian Unity:

January 18th: The Sisters of the Atonement arranged for Rev. Stephany Graham, Minister of the Peekskill Presbyterian Church, to lead an Ecumenical Celebration of the Word at St. Francis Chapel. 

January 19th:  Rev. James Loughran, SA  presided at a Mass for Christian Unity and preached on the week’s theme,“They Showed Us Unusual Kindness” at the Our Lady of Atonement Chapel. 

Father Dennis Polanco, SA, President of St. Christopher’s Inn, also gave a sermon based on the week’s theme at Our Lady of Mercy in Port Chester, NY. 

Rev. Harry Walton, Pastor of Trinity Episcopal Church in Stoughton, delivered the sermon at the Chapel of Our Savior in Brockton, MA. Read Fr. John Keane, SA‘s recap of the event here.

January 22nd: Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute hosted an ecumenical service of word, prayer, and contemplative ritual in the Interchurch Center Chapel in New York, NY.

January 23rd: Rev. James Loughran, SA preached at an Ecumenical Celebration of the Word at Zion Lutheran Church in Staten Island, NY.

January 25th: Most Rev. John O. Barres, Bishop of Rockville Center presided with Very Rev. Brian F. Terry, SA,  at a special Mass of Reception into the Tertiary Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement. 

January 26th: Rev. Daniel Callahan, SA, General Councilor of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement celebrated Mass in the Chapel of Our Lady of the Atonement at Graymoor.  Fr. Callahan offered his reflections on the quest for Christian Unity as the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity drew to a close.

This was a memorable and informative week for all who were able to attend. Many thanks go to the Friars who worked so hard to make an impact on the Christian community.