Catholics, Lutherans ‘pray together as one’

Catholics and members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America gathered at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis Oct. 29 to ask the Holy Spirit to "illumine our hearts and heal our memories" while establishing a common witness and service in the world.

BEFORE THE CROSS | Hope reigns as Reformation anniversary approaches

In a couple of weeks, Lutherans will mark the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation. And for the next month — from Oct. 16 to Nov. 11 — Mass readings will come from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans.

Joint commemoration of the Reformation planned

The Archdiocese of St. Louis and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America will host a Lutheran-Catholic Joint Commemoration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis on Sunday, Oct. 29, with an ecumenical prayer service at 7 p.m.

Martin Luther posted his "95 Theses" on a church door Oct. 31, 1517. It marked as the beginning of what is known as the Protestant Reformation. While the Reformation fractured Western Christianity, Catholics and Lutherans have been committed to dialogue the past 50 years in an effort to restore full unity.

Encouraging parish-based, Catholic-Lutheran dialogue

The archdiocesan Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs reached out to a core group of Lutheran pastors to discuss ways to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. The groups collaborated on initiating parish-based lay dialogue in a movement toward greater visible unity of the churches. From left, Deacon Jim Sigillito from Holy Trinity Parish in St. Ann, Pastor John Mann from Trinity Lutheran Church in Chesterfield, Mike Kubiak from Sacred Heart Parish in Florissant, Deacon Jim G’Sell from St. Anthony of Padua Parish in High Ridge and diaconate candidate Phil Hutsler from St. Norbert Parish in Florissant exchanged ideas about the future.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis will join with partners from the Lutheran community in marking the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, in 2017. The partnership recognizes strides in Catholic-Lutheran dialogue and ecumenical unity by the Vatican and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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