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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ecumenism in Song

On July 21, 22, 23 I will be participating as a member of an ecumenical choir through Prince of Peace Lutheran Church here in Eagle River, WI. This three night concert, called POPS after the name of the sponsoring Church, is a wonderful way of bringing people from different local churches to praise our God in song. Proceeds from the concert go to different local charities.

On a personal note I love to sing, but don't often get to be in a choir because I am the one celebrating the Mass. I attribute this love for singing to Sr. Mary Magdalene, CSJ, who "roped" me into being a member of the boy's choir at St. William's Church in the Dorchester section of Boston where I grew up.

As for ecumenism I can remember quite enthusiastically participating in ecumenical activities right after the Second Vatican Council in the 60's. For several reasons such activities are taking place less often. I hope we can turn that around. I believe that we need to begin by emphasizing what we share in common--our belief in God, our faith in Jesus Christ and in God's Word found in Scripture. On the other hand we can't settle for a superficial ecumenism that denies our very real differences. We need to name these seek to overcome them.

I think that here in the US with our belief in equality we fear that stating differences is a no-no. This is because unfortunately we often think that differences make us inferior or superior to the other and so we shy away.

I pray that activities like the POPS concert move us in the direction of a deeper unity between Christians and a greater openness to people of all faiths.

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