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Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Jan. 18-25, 2023

January 13th, 2023

(Originally published at OMIUSA.ORG)

By Fr. Harry Winter, OMI

2023 Christian Unity logo
Courtesy of Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Inst.
Since 1908, an increasing number of Christians spend this week praying and working together.  Each year, the Vatican and the World Council of Churches (Protestant and Eastern Orthodox) choose a theme.  This year’s theme comes from the USA.

As our Oblate Prayer Book mentions, we observe each year the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity from Jan. 18-25 (pp. 73-76).  Our divisions hurt the way people view Jesus and the Church He founded.

Minnesota Council of Churches.  Minneapolis, MN became a flashpoint for calls for racial justice and equity during the responses of communities to the George Floyd murder.  This received worldwide attention.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Photo: Unsplash

The theme chosen for this year is “Do Good:  Seek Justice,” from Isaiah 1:17.  Materials for each day are available from the Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute.:

Many members of the Oblate Family reside in Minnesota. May we join with them in spirit as we observe the 2023 Week. 

The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday occurs on January 16.  The Graymoor website gives special material linking the holiday with the Week of Prayer:  click on “Prayer/Worship,” and search for “Homily Notes, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.”

Prayer for Christian Unity

O God of justice and peace, One in the unity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, enliven the unity of your Church on earth. Help us to see that our unity goes beyond unity in doctrinal essentials to an active unity of humanity with you and with one another.

Forgive us for not remembering we are brothers and sisters in equity and justice under your law of love. Help us remember that each of us is created in your Divine image and that we share the dignity of being your children. Temper your justice, O Lord, with mercy to forgive and heal our broken relationships. Unite us in a fellowship that recalls our baptism, which has conquered sin and death, hate and division in the power of the Paschal mystery of Jesus Christ.

Grant all this, O Lord, in his name and by the power of your Holy Spirit, now and forever, Amen.



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