Parish Ecumenical and Interreligious Outreach
“A permanent renewal of the Church in greater fidelity to her vocation; such renewal is the driving-force of the movement toward unity” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 821)
- Appoint a parish ecumenical and interreligious representative. This is a parishioner designated by the pastor and charged with coordinating and communicating ecumenical and interreligious outreach.
- Establish an ecumenical and interreligious commission in the parish.
- Encourage clergy/lay participation in local ministerial association or alliance within parish boundary.
“Fraternal knowledge of each other and ecumenical formation should be promoted” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 821)
- Offer opportunities to learn the denominational and local history of neighboring churches and faith communities.
- Promote ecumenical and interreligious outreach in the parish through parish bulletin and after-Mass pulpit announcements.
- Promote awareness of ecumenical and interreligious cause through adult education by studying ecumenical documents of the Church.
“Prayer in common, because ‘change of heart and holiness of life, along with public and private prayer for the unity of Christians, should be regarded as the soul of the whole ecumenical endeavor’” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 821)
- Prayer should be the centerpiece of all your efforts. Opportunities for prayer together are: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Jan 18-25), Martin Luther King Birthday (Third Monday in Jan), World Day of Prayer (First Friday in March), Ash Wednesday/Lent, Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Easter, Pentecost, All Souls Day/Day of Dead, World AIDS Day (Dec 1), Thanksgiving and Reformation Sunday (last Sunday of October).
- Include neighboring congregations and faith communities in the Sunday intercessions. Gather for prayer for peace in the world.
- Offer opportunities to learn about and experience Taize prayer.
“Collaboration among Christians in various areas of service to mankind, ‘human service’” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 821)
- Consider joining resources with other faith communities for common outreach to and awareness of those in need.
- Exchange program ideas and programs with similar organizations; schedule joint programs on topics and issues of mutual interest, as regards issues of social justice.
- Collaborate with other faith communities in changing unjust social structures.