Archbishop Thomas C. Collins of Toronto CNS photo/Bill Wittman

Authentic faith will lead to Christian unity, says Archbishop Collins

  • January 25, 2010

TORONTO - With Haiti yet to emerge from the rubble, Christians didn't have to think hard to come up with a reason to pray hard and pray together at the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity ecumenical prayer service Jan. 24.

"We're called to reach out to assist those who suffer and to pray together (for the people of Haiti)," declared Archbishop Thomas Collins in his sermon at Timothy Eaton Memorial Church, part of the ecumenical grouping of mid-town Toronto churches called the "Churches on the Hill." Along with two Anglican and five Protestant churches, the Yonge and St. Clair neighbourhood churches include Holy Rosary and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Churches.



Collins used his podium as preacher at this year's ecumenical prayer service to invite all 400 people in the pews to a Feb. 1, 7:30 p.m. ecumenical prayer service for Haiti at St. Paul's Basilica in downtown Toronto.

While acknowledging that ecumenism has yet to reach its goal, Collins preached that Christian unity depends on Christians living their faith authentically, joyfully and boldly.

"We can witness boldly, courageously because Jesus is with us to the ends of the Earth," said Collins.

Division among Christians is a scandal that limits the evangelical mission of every baptized Christian, he said.

"Such division openly contradicts Christ," Collins said. "Common prayer and fellowship heals division."

Jean Wilson, a long-time regular at Timothy Eaton, said she just had to be at the annual Ecumenical Worship Service, even if it was her second visit to church on Sunday.

"It's wonderful. I'm all for the ecumenical," she said.

"I want this unity of Christians — and not just for Christians alone, for everybody," said Fraciah Muriuki, a parishioner at St. Monica's.

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