“Simple trust in the provident hand of God,” will be the key to Christian unity, Cardinal Thomas Collins told more than 300 people who gathered for the final liturgy of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in Toronto Jan. 26.

Published in Canada

Many posters promoting the theme of this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity — “They Showed Us Unusual Kindness” — include photos of a small battered rowboat to illustrate the shipwreck which landed St. Paul on the island of Malta. The story in the Acts of the Apostles (28:1-10) is short on details about that unusual kindness.

Published in Glen Argan

An island nation that is more than 90 per cent Catholic is using the story of a shipwreck to remind Christians what ecumenism is really about — kindness, welcome and the bonds of our common humanity.

Published in Faith

Indonesian faith leaders didn’t have look far for inspiration in choosing the prayers for the 111th annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Published in International

A surprise request during a visit to a Catholic church led to a revelation about love and Christian unity for a Baptist preacher.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA

The fact that the Eucharist cannot yet be shared between faiths has left everyone “starving,” says the director of ecumenical and interfaith affairs for the Archdiocese of Toronto.

Published in Canada

VATICAN CITY - Christians are united in bloodshed as they suffer from violence and persecution in various parts of the world, Pope Francis told Christian leaders.

Published in International

TORONTO - Dave Williams happened into the closing liturgy for this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity entirely by chance. He wandered into Yorkminster Park Baptist Church, saw what was happening and immediately called his wife, Beverly John.

By the end of the service, Williams and John were convinced they had stumbled into something important.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA

Fr. Paul Wattson had one great insight that drove him. That single flash of wisdom resulted in missionary projects, pioneering media work, millions of dollars raised for charity, a new religious order, a breakthrough journey from the Anglican tradition to the Catholic Church and, most famously, the Church Unity Octave which grew gradually into the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Published in International

The opportunity annually extended to Christians worldwide to be unified in prayer comes this year from Brazil, and it is being embraced in Canada from coast to coast.

Published in Canada

You have heard it said that a stitch in time saves nine. I know how to thread a needle and have done so many times. I have even sewn a button on my shirt and on occasion sat at a sewing machine, but a tailor I am not.

Published in Faith

Calling all high school students, Fr. Damian MacPherson and the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement-Graymoor are teaming up again with The Catholic Register to present their annual student writing award during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

"This initiative is intended to get to the very grass roots of young people thinking about the scandal of the division of the Christian church," said MacPherson,  the Director of Ecumenical and Interfaith Affairs at the Archdiocese of Toronto.

The contest has been running for the 12 years. This year's theme, "What does God require of us," (Micah 6:6-8) was chosen by the Student Christian Movement of India. Contestants must be 14 to 18 years of age and enrolled in an Ontario secondary school or equivalent. They are asked to carefully reflect on the Scripture passage and submit a 500-word essay that addresses the theme. Next year, Canada has the privilege of choosing the topic.

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity was founded by Fr. Paul Wattson and Lurana Mary White in 1898. They are the founders of the Society of the Atonement, of which MacPherson is a member. It is a religious community that began in the Anglican Church in 1908 and was later received into the Roman Catholic Church.

The week of prayer was eventually accepted by the Vatican and consequently became a world-wide practice. In 2013, it runs from January 18-25.

"I'm always hopeful and confident that, especially in this youth outreach contest, there would be a new awareness and new sense of responsibility," said MacPherson, who hopes the contest will continue to engage more young Catholics.

"They have a responsibility to acknowledge, work and pray for the unity of the church," he said. "We collectively and globally have that responsibility."

The deadline for entries is Jan. 18, 2013. Essays are to be submitted to The Catholic Register, 1155 Yonge St., Toronto, ON, M4T 1W2. See www.catholicregister.org/writingaward for further details.

(Florez, 17, is a Grade 12 student at St. Basil-The-Great College School.)

Published in Youth Speak News

TORONTO - The ecumenical movement knows precisely what it wants and has wanted since the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity began in 1908 — full, visible unity of the body of Christ.

At this year's Toronto Week of Prayer ecumenical service, Rev. Ammonius Guirguis of St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Church told about 700 in St. Michael's Cathedral exactly what they would have to do to get the unity they want. They would have to change.

"There will be a change, but it has to be preceded by changes in our behaviour," Guirguis declared.

Published in Canada: Toronto-GTA