March 25, 2015
In a prayer service at St. Paul's Basilica, the Pope says there should be more focus on what unites Christians. During his talk he stated, "So many past controversies between Christians can be overcome when we put aside all polemical or apologetic approaches, and seek instead to grasp more fully what unites us." He continued to say that, "We need to realize that, to plumb the depths of the mystery of God, we need one another, we need to encounter one another and to challenge one another under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who harmonizes diversities and overcomes conflicts.”
In so doing Saint Anselm’s Abbey and the School in the spirit of this new Pope’s vision hosted a group of predominately 30 protestant students from Dominion Christian Junior High School from Reston, Virginia, their teacher Mr. Garrett Cichowitz, and adult chaperons arrived at the Abbey school on December 8th, 2014 in which happened to be the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception a date that was not specifically planned, but it after all, God works in mysterious ways.
After Mass I took the students to the Abbey Chapel where Father Philip, visiting doctoral candidate, Father Jan Dolny from Slovakia and I each gave a short introduction and history of our vocation, and our mission. A tour followed led by Father Philip who gave a wonderful history as the group toured.
It wasn’t long after that I received an email from Mr. Cichowitz sharing a positive feed-back from his students in which gave me the idea to have them share those experiences in writing and to be published as a small window towards “Christian Unity and Understanding”. Below are some of those reflections:
I received a total of eleven letters back and as a small way they have projected a path to Christian unity and understanding in a little way that will hopefully bring all Christians to a closer bond and understanding of one another’s perceptions and beliefs.
Retrieved: By REUTERS \ 01/26/2015 at http://www.jpost.com/Christian-News/Pope-Francis-calls-for-Christian-Unity-388991