Five Ways – March 23

March 29, 2023 Five Ways Newsletter

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