Surveys seek input on Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

By 
  • June 23, 2009
{mosimage}The Canadian Council of Churches wants to know who you will be praying with and for between Jan. 18 and 25 next year.

Using its web site and Twitter account, the CCC has launched a pair of surveys to find out how parishes and congregations are praying during the annual Week of  Prayer for Christian Unity. If the answer is that your Catholic parish doesn’t do much to observe the world-wide, Vatican-supported week for Christian unity, they want to hear that too.

“While preparing the annual resource for 2010, we were meditating on why the resource we prepare every year seems to be under-used,” said Mary Marrocco, CCC faith and witness associate secretary, in an e-mail.

People often tell Marrocco that the Canadian booklet of prayers, liturgy suggestions, Bible study and homily notes for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is excellent. The worry has been, however excellent the kit may be, churches less than a block from each other never speak — not even during the one week each year set aside to pray for unity.

The two very similar surveys are aimed at individual parishes and at national or regional organizations of Christian denominations. They can be found at www.ccc-cce.ca/english/faith/index.htm.

“What I like about this initiative is that it will more clearly focus what in fact is going on, as opposed to what we think is going on. And we might be surprised to find that not a lot is going on,” said Fr. Damian MacPherson, archdiocese of Toronto ecumenical and interfaith affairs officer.

MacPherson buys and distributes more than 400 copies of the CCC kit in French and English. He knows many of them are barely glanced at.

Marrocco similarly knows that much of the effort put into producing ecumenical materials is meeting with a kind of polite silence. By the end of July she hopes the survey will have turned up a few ways to break through the apathy.

“The bigger question — where is church energy for ecumenical work now?” she asks. “And how can we help to ignite it?”

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