Five Ways – Jan 24

January 12, 2024

Many thanks to those who replied to the December 22 Five Ways e-letter.  I hope Christmas and the New Year brought joy to you and your loved ones.

As we approach the 2024 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Jan. 18-25, there are several special features for this year.

First to consider is that the Vatican and the World Council of Churches each year choose different local Churches to prepare the materials.  This year they chose the Christian Churches of Burkina Faso, and the rapidly growing ecumenical community Chemin Neuf, headquartered in France, and spreading all over the world.  The Wikipedia article on Chemin Neuf is very extensive.

The material this year centers on St. Luke’s response in the Parable of the Good Samaritan:  “You shall love the Lord your God . . . and your neighbor as yourself” (Lk. 10:27). These materials are still available from the Graymoor Ecumenical Institute:

Secondly, we are challenged by the fact that over 50% of Catholic marriages today involve a non-Catholic Christian. We do not seem prepared to help these families face the special difficulties this poses, especially when the children want to learn about the religions of both parents. More and more parishes want to help these families, but specialists and materials are lacking.

Thirdly, when the October 2023 Synod closed, its final document urged more participation from Eastern Orthodox, and Protestants in the October 2024 Synod.  Which means more participation on the parish level too.

Finally, we need our evangelical Protestants as allies confronting abortion. We need our liberal Protestants as allies in confronting discrimination, especially as we celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, Jan. 15.

The Holy Spirit is very eager to help all Christians grow closer, so Jesus will become clearer to all. I welcome your insights about doing this.

In His love,

Fr. Harry Winter, O.M.I.