Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation

Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate  United States Province

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News Archives » Mission Unity Dialogue

Martin Luther King and Martin Luther June 23rd, 2017

by Harry Winter, OMI

In 1934, an African American, Rev. Michael King Sr., visited religious reformer Martin Luther’s home in the town of Wittenberg, Germany. King was so impressed by Luther’s legacy that he changed his name to Martin Luther King, Sr., and his son’s to Martin Luther King, Jr.

Was it the free exchange of ideas and values that the older King saw in Luther’s posting of his 95 theses?  Was it the fact that the Christian Church is in continual need of reformation, as Luther stressed?  In any case, it shows that some of Luther’s legacy is very relevant today.

It surprises many Americans to learn that there are more Lutherans in Africa and Asia than in North America and Europe.  Furthermore, Lutheran membership in Africa and Asia is growing, while in North America and Europe it is declining.

Lutheran World Services and Caritas International (R.C), have pledged to work more closely together. So civil rights, spirituality, ecclesiology and witness have been joined  by Martin Luther and Drs. Martin Luther King, Sr. and Jr.

May Lutherans and Roman Catholics learn more about each other!  

See the OMI USA website Mission-Unity-Dialogue ( for important statements signed by both Churches.

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 Proposes New Beatitudes Linking JPIC, Evangelization and Ecumenism November 21st, 2016


by Fr. Harry Winter, OMI

After his ecumenical celebration with Lutherans in Lund, Sweden, on Oct. 31, Pope Francis celebrated Mass for All Saints Day in nearby Malmo. During his homily on the Beatitudes, he proposed six new Beatitudes. Notice how they link together the various dimensions of our Catholic Faith:

  • Blessed are those who remain faithful while enduring evils inflicted on them by others and forgive them from their heart.
  • Blessed are those who look into the eyes of the abandoned and marginalized and show them their closeness.
  • Blessed are those who see God in every person and strive to make others also discover him.
  • Blessed are those who protect and care for our common home.
  • Blessed are those who renounce their own comfort in order to help others.
  • Blessed are those who pray and work for full communion between Christians.

Pope Francis observed that new situations require new energy and new commitment. It is also significant that the Prayer Intentions at the Mass were read in 5 European languages (Swedish, English, Spanish, German and Polish) as well as Arabic.

For the joy which we receive from working with other Christians, especially Lutherans, see the Christian Joy page, Mission-Unity-Dialogue website:

In one of the early translations after Vatican II, of the Scriptures into English for proclamation at Mass, the beatitudes became the “happytudes”: Happy are those, etc.

As we work for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation with other Christians, may we share more blessedness, happiness and joy!

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