October 30, 2017

Commemorating 500 Years Since the Reformation

Lutherans and Catholics gathered Saturday, Oct. 21 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lansdale for to learn about developments in Lutheran-Catholic ecumenical dialogue and to worship together. The Rev. Dr. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A., president of Villanova University, delivered the homily.

Catholic and Lutheran lay persons — including members of families that include both traditions — participated in reading lessons, prayers, and lighting candles to symbolize the shared commitments of both churches. These commitments include starting conversation from the perspective of unity; allowing ourselves to be continuously transformed by the other tradition; seeking visible unity; jointly rediscovering the power of the gospel in our time; and witnessing together to the mercy of God in proclamation and service to the world.

The liturgy was based upon the Service of Repentance and Reconciliation that was led by Pope Francis and Bishop Munib Younan, President of the Lutheran World Federation, in Lund Sweden last October. Bishop Burkat was liturgist for the service.

Prior to worship, keynote speakers were Dr. John Borelli of Georgetown University and the Rev. Donald McCoid, bishop emeritus of the Southwestern PA Synod, who reflected on progress in Lutheran-Catholic relations.

The Rev. Dr. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A., president of Villanova University, delivers the homily.

The Rev. Dr. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A., president of Villanova University, delivers the homily.

Bishop Burkat, Father Donohue, and Rev. Julie Dewerth, dean of Lower Montgomery Conference, lead worship

Dewerth anoints a worshipper.

Dr. Borelli and Bishop-emeritus McCoid with Bishop Burkat at Trinity, Lansdale.

Photos by Rev. Regina Goodrich