Healing at the heart of Christian Unity week


Today January 25th, Pope Francis will preside at ecumenical Vespers in the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls with members of the many different Christian Churches present here in Rome. The celebration marks the closing of the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity which has been exploring the theme, taken from St Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, “Has Christ been divided?” Throughout the week, clergy and congregations have been preaching and worshipping in different churches, attending conferences and discussions on the ecumenical dialogues and praying for the Holy Spirit’s guidance in the search for healing and unity among all Christ’s followers.

Following a celebration of the Word at Rome’s Centro Pro Unione for ecumenical dialogue and formation, Philippa Hitchen spoke with Rev Mary Styles, an assistant curate at All Saints Anglican parish to find out more about the ministry of healing people and communities ……

Mary explains that her first career was in medicine and her great passion was healing people. After coming to Rome 13 years ago, she felt a calling from God to work for the Church, but she still sees healing as central to her new ministry, a fulfillment of her original calling in medicine….

All Saints Church, she says, holds a monthly healing service, a simple Eucharistic liturgy which includes the laying on of hands, prayers for healing and anointing with oils…..

Healing, she says, is also the essence of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity because it is connected to the need to listen to the call and the encounter with Jesus…..In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians that we’ve been focused on this week, the Apostle thanks God for the gifts which Our Lord gives to the Church……if we used better those gifts to edify each other, rather than keeping them for ourselves, that would lead to the healing of the Christian community.

Source: Vatican Radio

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