Five Ways Book/Fellowship

Monday, Sept. 25, 2023

Many thanks to those who responded to the August 28 Five Ways item.  In it I noted that September began with the Ecumenical aspect of the Season of Creation, on you tube.  The month of September also ends, Saturday, with The Ecumenical Vigil of Prayer, on the steps of St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome, to begin the October Synod.  You may google “Ecumenical Vigil of Prayer,” to see how young people especially will participate in it.  And the Vatican website ( will tell you how to watch on you tube this important service which is scheduled for 5-7 pm Rome time, Sept. 30.

Below you will see an attack on the very concept of synodality, and my response to it (in both English and Spanish).  Please note that on the Mission-Unity-Dialogue website ( the five earlier postings on synodality are now available on their own page, on the right of the home page.

 Your comments are most welcome.

In Christ’s love,

Fr. Harry Winter, O.M.I.

Synodality and the Oblates Part Six  Synodality and Oblates, Part Six, A Pandora’s Box? – OMIUSA

Spanish 1  Synodal y Pandora – OMIUSA

Spanish 2  Synodal Dos – OMIUSA

August 2023 Five Ways Newsletter

I hope you can open the YouTube below for this Friday, Sept. 1’s very important ecumenical observance of the Care of Creation Day begun by Pope Francis and immediately joined in by many religions, and by those of no religion.

And as we approach the October Synod on Synodality, there will be at least three Oblates among the 465 voting members.  Archbishop Liborius Ndumbukuti Nashenda, O.M.I. of Windhoek, Namibia; Archbishop Bejoy Nicephorus D’cruze, O.M.I. of Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Bishop Radoslaw Zimitrowicz, O.M.I., auxiliary bishop of Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine. As more people are named in the supporting staff, there will probably be more from the Oblate Family.

For many of us, synodality is a mystery.  Recently, the pope’s apostolic nuncio in the USA, Cardinal Christophe Pierre, attempted to clear this up.  “I am a bit amazed to see people saying ‘We don’t want synodality, because this goes nowhere.’ It goes somewhere.  But it requires effort.  If you are a parish priest, you have to involve all your parishioners.  Fathers and mothers have to involve the family and work together” (Boston Pilot, July 21, 2023, p. 9).

One area that touches all of us is our attitude towards LGBTQ people.  The same issue of the Pilot newspaper notices this as part of the synod discussion (p. 5, from Our Sunday Visitor).

Many thanks to those who commented on the July 12 e-letter.  I welcome your insights especially on the Sept. 1 you tube presentation. Feel free to forward this e-letter to your friends.

In Christ’s love,

Fr. Harry Winter, O.M.I.

The #SeasonOfCreation 2023 begins on September 1 with the Day of Creation 🙌💙 Ecumenical faith leaders from around the world will lead this moment of presentation and reflection 🌊Join us: 🎉 
#SeasonOfCreation2023 #prayer #catholics #commonhome

July 2023 Five Ways Newsletter

July 12, 2023 Five Ways E-Letter

Many thanks to those who commented on the June 21 Five Ways E-Letter. 

Please note that Bishop Robert Barron below is one of those elected by the USA bishops to take part in the Synod on Synodality, which begins on Sept. 30 with an ecumenical service.  Twelve “fraternal delegates” from non-Catholic Christian Churches will also participate. A complete list, including the many women who will be able to participate for the first time in a synod, is available on the internet.

You may want to read the four synod items on the home page of the Mission-Unity-Dialogue website:

The June 2023 issue of Oblate World, pp. 4-7, (available on noted that our Oblate shrines in the USA are taking part in the National Eucharistic Revival, which began on the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, June 2022 and will run until Pentecost 2025.

And may we all slow down during the hot summer months and enjoy God’s many gifts to us, especially the presence of Jesus among us in the Most Blessed Sacrament, where He energizes us for evangelism, ecumenism and dialogue.

In Christ’s love,

Fr. Harry Winter, O.M.I.

June 2023 Five Ways Newsletter

First, during this month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, I was delighted to see that the Apostleship of Prayer, inspired by the Jesuits following the ministry of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and St. Claude de la Colombiere, added the ecumenical intention to the Morning Offering after Vatican II.  

The revised Morning Offering prayer now reads:  O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, for the salvation of souls, the reparation of sins, the reunion of all Christians, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father this month.  Amen.  

Note the joining of evangelization (the salvation of souls) and ecumenism (the reunion of all Christians). 

Secondly, I was a little skeptical to read in the April Reflection of the Gregorian University Foundation, p. 5, that Fr. Philipp Renczes, S.J., the dean of theology at the Greg, recently presented the newly launched program in “Comparative Theology of Christian Traditions and Ecumenical Studies,” as a response to “reading the signs of the times” and to the new “ecumenical spring” that has blossomed under the Francis pontificate. 

“We’re trying to figure out what the church will look like in 10 or 20 years, and ecumenical relations become more and more relevant to this.” 

Thirdly, the reflection below from the former Oblate General Councilor for Canada-US, Warren Brown, and the former Superior General, Louie Lougen, shows both the importance and difficulty of this. 

Many thanks to those who commented on the May 11 Five Ways E-letter. 

In Christ’s love, 

Fr. Harry Winter, O.M.I. 

May 2023 Five Ways Newsletter

Many thanks to those who commented on the April 17 Five Ways e-letter.

As we wind down the Easter Season, our first instinct might be to remember the Seven Joys of Mary. We remember perhaps too easily the Seven Sorrows. Are we equally familiar with the Seven Joys of Mary? And do we realize that the fruits of the Holy Spirit begin with love, joy and peace (Catechism, #736)? On the website Mission-Unity-Dialogue, the second page is Christian joy ( In order to evangelize, we need to be joyful Christians.

Secondly, Sr. Nathalie Becquart, a French Xaviere Sister, undersecretary for the General Secretariate of the Synod of Bishops, gave speech at the Boston College of Theology and Ministry, Oct. 27, 2022, which was adapted in the journal America, April 2023. She wrote “A bishop from the United States recently told me the following: ‘This synod is changing my vision of evangelization. As a bishop, as a priest, I have been trained to teach, to preach, to tell the truth. Through all this experience of listening, I realize that the Spirit is already at work in all these people. This synod is really changing my vision of evangelization’.”

Sister Nathalie wrote especially about synod contributions regarding the role of women in the Church, and in the Boston College talk (not the America article) said regarding ecumenism and dialogue: “There was also a strong call to foster ecumenism. For the Church to face the most important problems of our world–ecological climate change, violence, polarization–we can’t do it alone, we have to do it with our brothers and sisters from the Christian faiths and other religions.”

Thirdly and finally, my thanks to Oblates Warren Brown and Peter Stoll for sending me the item below regarding the ecumenical dimension of the crowning of King Charles III. Anglicans in the rest of the world are called Episcopalians in the USA, and our two Churches are coming closer with events like King Charles’ Coronation.

In Christ’s love,

Fr. Harry Winter, O.M.I.

A 1st since 16th century: Cardinal Parolin represents Pope at coronation of Charles (

The last time a Cardinal attended the coronation of a British King was in the 16th century. Two other high-ranking Catholics will also attend.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Pope’s secretary of state, will represent Pope Francis at the coronation of Charles III, King of the United Kingdom, on May 6, 2023, announced the director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni on May 4. This will be the first time since the 16th century that a Cardinal will attend the coronation of a British king in Westminster Abbey in London.
Pope Francis’ ‘number 2’ will not be the only high-ranking Catholic representative at the event. The Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, will also participate in the ceremony inside the cathedral. The Apostolic Nuncio to the United Kingdom, Archbishop Miguel Maury Buendia, is also invited.
Shortly after the formal coronation, performed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the Anglican Church, Justin Welby, Cardinal Nichols is expected to bless the new King along with other Protestant and Orthodox leaders. The Cardinal will then say to the new leader: “May God pour upon you the riches of his grace, keep you in his holy fear, prepare you for a happy eternity, and receive you at the last into immortal glory.”
However, no Catholics were given any of the 50 positions of honor during the ceremony – unlike Jewish, Sikh and Hindu personalities who are expected to present the regalia, the objects representing royalty.

A defender of the faith
As supreme governor of the Church of England, Charles III will receive the title of “Fidei Defensor” – defender of the faith – which had been conferred on King Henry VIII by Pope Leo X in 1521. Twelve years later, in 1533, the divorce and remarriage of the King of England, without the consent of the Church, led to his excommunication by Pope Clement VII.
As a consequence, Henry VIII provoked a schism in 1534 by getting the English Parliament to recognize him as “the Supreme Head of the Church of England.” Relations with Rome were formally broken off in 1536, but re-established under the reign of Mary I (1553-1558). Her coronation on October 1, 1553, was the last ceremony performed by a Catholic Archbishop – Bishop Stephen Gardiner of Winchester. The last time a Cardinal was present was at the coronation of Mary I as Queen of Scots in 1542.
From then on, Catholics were considered enemies of the national community for several centuries and were barred from Anglican churches until the end of the 20th century. Another sign of anti-Catholicism: Until 1901, at the coronation of Edward VII, the new King had to publicly denounce transubstantiation. The practice was then abandoned.

At the last coronation, that of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, no Catholic entered the basilica. Archbishop William Godfrey, the Apostolic Nuncio at the time – the first since the Reformation – attended the procession to Westminster Abbey but did not enter. The then Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Bernard Griffin, did not attend but celebrated a mass for the Queen the day before the ceremony.

The reign of Elizabeth II helped to ease relations between Anglicans and Catholics, especially after the Second Vatican Council. However, diplomatic ties between the United Kingdom and the Holy See were not restored until 1982.

The Catholic origin of the anointing
One of the most important moments in the ceremony is the anointing, which is performed by the Archbishop of Canterbury while four knights prevent the audience from seeing the sacred ceremony. The head, chest, and hands of the King or Queen are anointed out of sight. The oil to be used on May 6 was consecrated by Orthodox Patriarch Theophilus III at the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on March 4, 2023.
Historically, this anointing was granted by Pope Adrian I to one of the first kings of united England, Offa of Mercia, for his son Ecgfrith in 787. The practice then became customary in the 10th century.
Pope Francis offered two fragments of the Holy Cross to the new King, who asked that they be enshrined in the silver cross to be used during the coronation ceremony. The Holy See said this was an ecumenical gesture desired by the Pontiff.

April Five Ways E-Letter
April 17, 2023

First, many thanks to those who commented on the March 28th Five Ways Letter. I hope you all had a very Happy and Holy Easter.

Secondly, Massachusetts is one of the six states to celebrate Patriot’s Day, on the 3rd Monday of April, to commemorate the historic battles of Lexington and Concord, which mark the beginning of the American Revolution. It was during the revolution that the majority Protestant colonists discovered the value of the Irish Catholic American soldiers and the French Catholic navy, which were both essential to our separation from England.

And it was ten years ago that two Muslim brothers killed three people at the Boston Marathon (held each year since 1897 on Patriots Day) and maimed hundreds more. Cardinal O’Malley of Boston asked all of us pray for them yesterday, and for an end to the increasing violence in our country.

Thirdly, may you enjoy the attachment, the April newsletter of the US Catholic Mission Association. I found the final article, by Don McCrabb, the executive director, to be inspiring as he reflects on the hymn “Here I Am, Lord.”

To prolong Easter joy, google “The Joyful Noiseletter” and click on Holy Humor Sunday, to see how many churches celebrated special joy on the Sunday after Easter, yesterday.

In Christ’s love,

Fr. Harry Winter, O.M.I.

A Support Group for Any Christian

March Five Ways E-Letter
March 29, 2023

First, my thanks to Artie Pingolt, president of Oblate Partners, for sending me the important attachment.  It shows how crucial Christian Unity and Interreligious Dialogue are to confront serious challenges, such as the invasion of the Ukraine by Russia. Such cooperation is needed at the local level too.

Secondly, as we approach the Triduum of Holy Thursday evening through Easter Sunday, you might want to consider the custom of Eastern Christians on Easter Sunday afternoon.  They gather in cemeteries to process to the graves of those who have died since last Easter.  When they reach each grave, the priest shouts out “Christ is risen,” and the people respond “He is truly risen.”

Let us encourage all our friends and relatives who have dropped out of our Churches, to come with us on Easter and the Sundays after.

Thirdly, the website of Jesuit journal America posted an article on March 7 by theologian Jon Nilson, headlined “The Synod is missing something essential: other churches.”  He is very concerned that the USA report “National Synthesis of the People of God in the United States of America for the Diocesan Phase of the 2021-2023 Synod” was crafted from 290 documents distilled from 22,000 reports from parishes, dioceses, etc.

But the importance of working with other Christian Churches is never mentioned in the synthesis.  Nilson does not report that the Eastern Churches in the USA did submit their own document. However, especially Episcopalian and Presbyterian Churches have a long record of involving the laity in every major decision and development. A major feature of synodality is to decrease clericalism and increase the role of lay people. Nilson’s concern that ecumenism did not make it into the USA synthesis needs further attention by our bishops.

If any of the Five Ways recipients can find the report on synodality from the Eastern Churches USA, please send it to me.

In the meantime, many thanks to all who commented on the Feb. 14 Five Ways e-letter.  May we each have an inspiring Holy Week and Easter!

In Christ’s love,

Fr. Harry Winter, O.M.I.

People who have read the book Dividing or Strengthening, or who have made the retreat (both available, click here) have expressed a desire to pray for unity and to work with other Christians. We meet regularly and update. There are no dues and no regulations. We are a very small part of an increasing web of Christians who identify with one denomination and are concerned with all Christians. Some of the larger groups are Renovare, Stephan Ministries, Taize, and Iona.

Father Tom Ryan, CSP, in his 2015 book Christian Unity: How You Can Make a Difference, describes at length (ch. 5, pp. 83-107) the surge in the number of lay groups focusing on Evangelization and Christian Unity (Paulist Press). But he also states that apathy toward Christian Unity is growing (p. 121).

Currently we have about 50 people connected by e-mail and regular meetings. An initial group came out of the weekend retreat at King’s House, Buffalo, MN, Jan. 15-17, 2010. Following that, there were parish retreats at St. Casimir’s Church, St. Paul, MN, March, 2010 and St. Patrick’s Church, St. Paul, MN, March, 2012. What started out as an update meeting for those who attended any of the three previous retreats was expanded to anyone who is interested in the challenge of sharing our faith: June 6,7, 2012 (evening, repeated the following morning for those unable to come in the evening), and Nov. 7, 8, 2012; May15,16, 2013, May 7th, 8th 2014 See Below

Mass on the Moon

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost (2019)

Fifty years ago yesterday, on July 20, 1969, Presbyterian Ruling Elder Buzz Aldrin celebrated the Lord’s Supper on the moon. The first food and drink consumed on the moon was the blessed bread and wine from Aldrin’s church, Webster Presbyterian, near Houston, TX.

Communion on the Moon Fifty Years Later (2019)

When President Donald Trump gave his State of the Union Message on Feb. 5, 2019, he reminded us that fifty years ago this July 20, humans first walked on the moon. By placing astronaut Buzz Aldrin, among those notables invited, he also reminded us that the first food and drink consumed on the moon was the Blessed Bread and Wine Aldrin had brought from his church, Webster Presbyterian, near Houston, TX.

May the rest of your day be filled with love and happiness

February, 2023
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September 24, 2022

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December 14, 2021
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September 24, 2021
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