The Ecumenical Prayer Vigil held on the steps of St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome, from 5-6 pm Saturday, Sept. 30 (12-1 pm EDT) was easily the most important ecumenical service since the end of the Second Vatican Council in1965. Eastern Orthodox, Reformation Protestant and Evangelical/Pentecostal leaders joined Pope Francis. One of them was Rev. Dr. Anne Burghardt, general secretary of the Lutheran World Federation, probably the first time a non-Catholic Christian woman has been among the church leaders invited by the pope.
The beautiful booklet (click here) features Taize music, since it was the Taize Ecumenical Community which fist suggested such a prayer service to prepare for the opening of the synod this Wednesday, Oct. 4. Many young people from all over the world helped lead the service.
EWTN and the Vatican News Service joined together to broadcast the service, available on you-tube, Click on video screen below. Hopefully they will work together each day of the synod.
The final item in the program was the distribution of seeds for the Church leaders to take home and plant.
Pope Francis’ short homily occurred just before the distribution of seeds. It is by far the most important statement on ecumenism ever made, click here. Notice at the end how he describes the goal of ecumenism: evangelization, so that the world may believe, quoting Jo. 17:21. Click here to see the text of Pope Francis’ homily.
May each member of the Oblate Family read his homily; this, along with prayer, is the best way to prepare for the synod. This homily could be shared with our parishes, putting it into the Sunday bulletins.