Prayers for Christian Unity

Prayer for Christian Unity


"That They May Become One in Your Hand"

Ezekiel 37: 15-19, 22-24a


  The idea of praying for Christian Unity is not new.  We find Jesus Himself praying for unity in John's Gospel, chapter 17.  When we read the Gospels we find out that Jesus had a difficult time in creating unity among His little band of discipes.


  The Apostle Paul held a difficult time in bringing about unity among the people in his individual churches, especially the one in Corinth, Greece, which was famous for its factionalism.. This is when Paul coined his famous dictum, "In essentials, unity; in doubtful matters, liberty; but in all things-charity."


  Knowing all of this background, I still pray for Church Unity as I do for peace.  Praying for peace, it appears, is futile as praying for unity.  I have oftentimes told that there is a church in Paris, I am told, which has been praying for peace day and night for one hundred years.  Still we pray for peace and unity because it is the decent thing to do.


  I became an apostle for Church Unity when I was a student of theology at Catholic University in Washington, DC in the 50s.  We students "made" the eight-day-novena every year (I was there for four years) at the famous Shrine of the immaculate Conception there.  Every night there was a guest speaker who spoke on the topic of the day, which also included Scripture, Prayer, and Song.


  This year's topics are:


1.  Christian communities face to face with old and new divisions.

2.  Christians face to face with war and violence.

3.  Christians face to face with economic injustice and poverty.

4.  Christians face to face with ecological crisis.

5.  Christians face to face with discrimination and social prejudice.

6.  Christians face and face with disease and suffering.

7.  Christians face to face with a plurality of religion.

8.  Christians proclamation of hope in a world of separation.


  At our Holy Family Shrine we have available to you a "Daily Scripture & Prayer Guide (10 copies) which offers you a "mediation" on the above topics with a special prayer.  May I recommend you pick up a copy and read this medication and offer the special prayer each day, along with the official novena prayer printed below.



(Prayer Card is Available at Our Holy Family Shrine)


8 Day Novena


O God, may we become one in your hand.

As your daughters and sons we are joined to you by our common baptism. 

Make us one in faith and keep us one in the fellowship of your love. 

We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, who loves and reigns

with you and the holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen