Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation

Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate  United States Province

OMI logo
Translate this page:

Recent News

News Feed

News Archives

Latest Video & Audio

More video & audio >

News Archives » Fr. Harry E. Winter OMI

Lutherans and Catholics Prayerfully Commemorate 500th Anniversary of the Reformation January 26th, 2017

This article is republished from (Click here to read a news report of the event with highlights from Archbishop Bernard Hebda’s homily)

By Harry E. Winter, OMI


Fr. Harry E. Winter, OMI

Central Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, MN hosted Archbishop Bernard Hebda, RC Archdiocese of St. Paul, Minnesota; Bishop Patricia Lull, St. Paul Area Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; and Bishop Ann Svennungsen, Minneapolis Area Synod, Evangelical Church in America, on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017 for Evening Prayer to commemorate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. Over 600 people attended, making this one of the largest ecumenical services ever held in the Twin Cities.

The Fifth Imperative from the Lutheran-RC statement “From Conflict to Communion,” was read jointly by Tim Marx, President of Catholic Charities, and Jodi Harpstead, CEO of Lutheran Social Services: “Catholics and Lutherans should witness together to the mercy of God in proclamation and service to the world.” The collection taken up during the service was pledged for homeless ministry, to be divided equally between the two organizations. (For the four other Imperatives, see the website Mission-Unity-Dialogue:


Archbishop Hebda

Archbishop Hebda preached the homily, beginning by confessing to “sanctuary jealousy,” as we all admired the beauty of the large and impressive Lutheran church (click here for his humorous and profound homily). He invited all to attend the service a year from now at the Catholic Cathedral of St. Paul, to bring the joint 500th anniversary of the Reformation observance to a close.

Partly because of the participation of the 100 member plus Minnesota Boys choir (many teenagers among them), the congregation included young people and families as well as seniors. At the beginning of the service, water was blessed and we were sprinkled, to remind Lutherans and Catholics of our shared baptism. During the service, candles were lighted from the large Evening Prayer Candle for each of the Five Imperatives, and then each of us lighted our small candle from it. We then listened to an adaptation of the Easter Exultet. Incense was used for one of the sung psalms, so we experienced worship both physical and spiritual.

Each of us felt the deep blending of spirituality, ecumenism and justice.

Pope Francis Addresses Constantinople Patriarchate Delegation, Highlights Plight of Refugees June 30th, 2016

Pope Francis addressed a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, with whom he held a private audience on Tuesday in the Vatican, calling the mercy of God ‘the bond uniting us.’

The delegation came to Rome following the conclusion of the week-long Pan-Orthodox Council, which was held on the Greek island of Crete.

Read the article and full statement.

“..I thank the Lord that this past April I was able to meet my beloved brother Bartholomew when, together with the Archbishop of Athens and of All Greece, His Beatitude Ieronymos II, we visited the Isle of Lesvos, to be with the refugees and migrants.  Seeing the despair on the faces of men, women and children uncertain of their future, listening helplessly as they related their experiences, and praying on the shore of the sea that has claimed the lives of so many innocent persons, was a tremendously moving experience.  It made clear how much still needs to be done to ensure dignity and justice for so many of our brothers and sisters.  A great consolation in that sad experience was the powerful spiritual and human closeness that I shared with Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop Ieronymos…”

Read the article and full statement.


Return to Top