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Importance of ecumenism highlighted at service


At a recent ecumenical service, Catholics gathered to celebrate the significant progress that has been made on the path to Christian unity.

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Attendees at the inaugural Diocesan Service for Christian Unity were reminded that Vatican Council II strongly promulgated ecumenism and the importance of it in today’s world.

Following the completion of the service, participants were able to share personal stories and experiences of their ecumenical encounters. These included shared liturgies and Stations of the Cross, Lenten and Advent discussions groups, World Day of Prayer, Ministry on the Bus, sharing conversations with others, combined social justice activities and sharing of church facilities, such as in Goolwa where Lutherans and Catholics share the Catholic church for worship.

The Seaford Ecumenical Centre was recognised as an outstanding example of long-term success in ecumenical sharing, through liturgy, outreach and welcome in enriching ways.

“The conversations on the day recognised the overall importance of the practical ways in which we can ecumenically share in the mission for the world,” said Chancellor Heather Carey who addressed the service.

She said that various ecumenical dialogues – such as the Lutheran and Catholic Dialogue, Anglican and Catholic Dialogue and Uniting Church and Catholic Dialogue – were also noted as being important in developing relationships and partnerships.

“Other interfaith opportunities include the Jewish and Christian communities coming together in the annual liturgy, the Remembrance of the Shoah.”

Mrs Carey added that rural areas were also mentioned for their wonderful example of ecumenism, highlighted by shared gatherings, responses to need and support of their communities.

Organised by the Diocesan Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission, the service in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral on May 26 was chaired by Dr Stephen Downs and led by Fr Philip Marshall.


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