Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

January 18 - 25

"In this Week of Prayer for Unity, Christians — Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant —meet with greater fervour to pray together.  The purpose of this particular week is to encourage the Christian community to devote itself more intensely to prayer, in order to experience at the same time how beautiful it is to live together as brothers and sisters. Despite the tensions sometimes caused by existing differences, these days give us in some way a foretaste of the joy that full communion will bring when it is finally achieved."
Pope John Paul II

“Commitment to the unity of Christians is not just a task for the few, or an appendage to the life of the Church. Each is called to offer his or her contribution to help take those steps towards the full communion of all Christ's disciples, never forgetting that it is, above all, a gift constantly to be implored from God.”
Pope Benedict XVI
 
“The Gospel proclaims that in and through Jesus Christ, authentic unity with God - and through Him, in the Spirit, with one another - is the plan of God for the entire human race. The Church is the way to that unity. For the Church to continue the redemptive mission of Jesus effectively, she must be one. It was not the Lord’s plan that she be divided. It is His plan that she be restored to full communion."
Pope Francis

Theme for the 2020
"They Showed Us Unusual Kindness"
(cf. Acts 28:2))


The reflections for the eight days and the worship service is focused on the text from the Acts of the Apostles. The themes for the eight days are:
Day 1: Reconciliation: Throwing the cargo overboard
Day 2: Enlightenment: Seeking and showing forth Christ’s light
Day 3: Hope: Paul’s message
Day 4: Trust: Do not be afraid, believe
Day 5: Strength: Breaking bread for the journey
Day 6: Hospitality: Show unusual kindness
Day 7: Conversion: Changing our hearts and minds
Day 8: Generosity: Receiving and giving

Resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
   
January 18, 2020
Reconciliation: Throwing the cargo overboard

“We were being pounded by the storm so violently that on the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard and on the third day with their own hands they threw the ship’s tackle overboard... Since they had been without food for a long time, Paul then stood up among them and said, ‘Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and thereby avoided this damage and loss’.” Acts 27:18-19,21

Psalm 85
Luke 18:9-14

Reflection
As Christians from different Churches and Traditions, we have unfortunately, over the centuries, accumulated abundant baggage consisting of mutual distrust, bitterness and suspicion. We thank the Lord for the birth and the growth of the ecumenical movement over the past century. Our encounter with Christians from other traditions and our common prayer for Christian unity encourage us to seek mutual forgiveness, reconciliation and acceptance. We must not allow the baggage of our past to hinder us from drawing closer to one another. It is the Lord’s will that we let go, in order to let God!

Prayer
Forgiving God, set us free from the painful memories of the past, that wound our shared Christian life. Lead us to reconciliation so that, through the Holy Spirit we may overcome hatred with love, anger with gentleness, and suspicion with trust. We ask this in the name of your beloved Son, our brother Jesus. Amen.

January 19, 2020
Enlightenment: Seeking and showing forth Christ’s light

“When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest raged, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned.” Acts 27:20

Psalm 119:105-110
Mark 4:35-41

Reflection
Christ is our light and our guide. Without the light and guidance of Christ, we become disorientated. When Christians lose sight of Christ, they grow fearful and divided from one another. Moreover many people of good will outside the Church are unable to see the light of Christ because in our Christian division we reflect Christ’s light less clearly or, at times, block it out completely. As we seek the light of Christ, we are drawn closer to one another, and so mirror this light more clearly, becoming truly a sign of Christ, the light of the world.

Prayer
God, your word is a light to our steps and without you we are lost and disorientated. Enlighten us so that, through your word, we may walk your path. May our churches crave your guiding, consoling and transforming presence. Give us the honesty we need to recognize when we make it difficult for others to see your light, and the grace we need to share your light with others. We ask this in the name of your Son, who calls us, his followers, to be light to the world. Amen.

January 20, 2020
Hope: Paul’s message

“I urge you now to keep up your courage, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship... none of you will lose a hair from your heads...” Acts 27:22,34

Psalm 27
Matthew 11:28-30

Reflection
As Christians belonging to churches and traditions that are not fully reconciled to one another, we are often discouraged by the lack of progress towards visible unity. Indeed, some have given up all hope and see this unity as an unattainable ideal. Others do not even see unity as a necessary part of their Christian faith. As we pray for this gift of visible unity, let us do so with steadfast faith, enduring patience and expectant hope, trusting in God’s loving providence. Unity is the Lord’s Prayer for the Church and he is accompanying us on this journey. We will not be lost.

Prayer
God of mercy, lost and disheartened, we turn to you. Instill in us your gift of hope. May our churches hope and strive for the unity for which your Son prayed on the eve of his passion. We ask this through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.


January 21, 2020
Trust: Do not be afraid. Believe.

“For the last night there stood by me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before the emperor; and indeed, God has granted safety to all those who are sailing with you.’ So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. But we will have to run aground on some island.” Acts 27:23-26

Psalm 56
Luke 12:22-34

Reflection
In the midst of the tempest Paul’s encouragement and hope contradicted the fear and despair of his fellow travellers. Our common call to be disciples of Jesus Christ entails being a sign of contradiction. In a world riven with anxieties, we are called to stand as witnesses to hope by placing our trust in God’s loving providence. Christian experience shows us that God writes straight on crooked lines, and we know, against all odds, we will not drown or be lost. Because God’s steadfast love endures for ever.

Prayer
Almighty God, our personal suffering leads us to cry out in pain and we shrink in fear when we experience sickness, anxiety or the death of loved ones. Teach us to trust you. May the churches we belong to be signs of your providential care. Make us true disciples of your Son who taught us to listen to your word and to serve one another. In confidence we ask this in the name of your Son, and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
 
 
 
We Remember
September
Merciful Jesus, grant them eternal rest.
4Sister M. Rose Timko 1973
9Sister M. Bernadette Hircsu 1953
10Sister M. Frederick Mikuska 1953
10Sister M. Admirabilis Lang 2012
14Sister M. Maurine Taraba 1979
16Sister M. Cecilia Toth 1982
16Sister M. Innocence Opalko 1999
19Sister M. Philomena Jakab 1992
24Sister M. Hirlanda Farnade 1977
26Sister M. Consolata Toth 1995
27Sister Dorthy Ruth Varga 2018
28Sister M. Dominic Gabriel 1957
30Sister M. Eugenia Takacs 2001


Mass Schedule:
7:30 AMMonday:
7:30 AMTuesday:
7:30 AMWednesday:
7:30 AMThursday:
7:30 AMFriday:
8:00 AMSaturday:
8:00 AMSunday:
8:00 AMHolidays:
Holy Hour - Adoration:
Thursday before First Friday: 7:00 - 8:00 PM