Christian Unity……..Week of Prayer 2017
The small village of Lucan is home to the four main Christian denominations in Ireland. The Main Street boasts three churches Methodist, Presbyterian and Church of Ireland while St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church is atop of Chapel Hill. The greater Lucan area has two other Roman Catholic Churches St. Patrick’s in Esker and Divine Mercy Lucan South, there are also a small number of Evangelical churches in the area. Traditionally relationships between the churches have been extremely good and the clergy of the four main ones meet monthly for a shared lunch. There is a spirit of openness and fellowship which is exactly how it should be.
Each year the churches celebrate the week of Prayer for Christian unity and this year it will take place from January 18th to the 25th.
The main event locally will be the shared service of prayer, and this year it is being hosted by St. Patrick’s Parish in Esker (The Superquinn church as it is known locally!)., on Monday January 23rd at 8.00pm.
This year is very significant as the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation is being marked. It was the desire of Pope St. John Paul 11 that for the year 2,000 both Catholics and Lutherans would sign an accord, in a humble manner, acknowledging the mutual sins of the past in regard to the causes of the Reformation. The theological accord of common understanding in regard to Justification - the major theological issue at the time, was signed in an agreed statement. This was a wonderful moment of divine grace for the two Churches.
Towards the end of 2016 Pope Francis went to Lund in Sweden for the international commemoration of the Protestant Reformation. Both Papal initiatives are of profound historical and current significance.
This year the Lutheran Pastor Stephan Arras, St Finian's Lutheran Church, Adelaide Road will preach the sermon at the Service in St. Patrick's Church, Esker. This is the first time a Lutheran pastor has preached in a Catholic Church in Lucan. Please make a special effort to attend. Hospitality will be offered after the service.
In addition to this special service members of the congregation of each of the Lucan churches will visit the other denominations bringing prayers and good wishes for the week of Prayer.
We’ve come a long way from hurling anathemas at each other from a distance and regarding each other with suspicion and mistrust, and with the Lord’s grace we can go much further.
Do make an effort to be at the Service in St. Patricks, Monday 23rd Jan 8.00pm
Fr. Philip Curran