The Ecumenical and Interfaith Concerns office works with parishes and other Archdiocesan entities to provide resources and support for ecumenical and interfaith education, dialogue, and activity. The Director is available to speak to parishes and groups and we are also able to recommend speakers on a variety of ecumenical and interfaith topics.Lutheran, Anglican, Roman Catholic, United Methodist (LARCUM) Conversations
In addition, we collaborate with ecumenical and interfaith organizations such as the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee and the Wisconsin Council of Churches and provide support for local and community-wide programs that enhance ecumenical and interfaith understanding.
We also provide support for several ongoing dialogues and partnerships, including:
Lutherans and Catholics Together Commemorate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation
On October 31, 2016, Pope Francis and Representatives of the Lutheran World Federation came together in Lund to launch a year-long joint observance of the Reformation.
Focusing on repentence, reconciliation and reform, Lutherans and Catholics can recognize the gifts of the Reformation while at the same time repenting for the deep division and pain that has marked our relationship and pledging to work together for the unity of the church.
At Amazing Faith Dinner Dialogues people of all faiths and no faith, all spiritualities and philosophies gather in small groups to share a simple vegetarian meal and participate in a moderated discussion using a proven model, evoking deep exchanges about lived experiences and the role of faith or spirituality in their lives. Through exploration and dialogue, participants learn about the beliefs and traditions of others within an atmosphere of respect and understanding, and are empowered to stand as witnesses for tolerance.
To learn more or to find out how you can host or moderate a dinner, visit the Interfaith Conference website, or contact Jenni Reinke, program manager, or Tom Heinen, executive director at AmazingFaiths@interfaithconference.org or 414-276-9050.
Frequently Asked Questions
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How are interfaith relations different from ecumenical relations?
Interfaith relations are our relationships with members of other world religions. The purpose of these relationships differs from our relationship with other Christians. Our goal here is not unity in Christ but rather greater understanding and cooperation along with deepened spiritual insights. Dialogue is a key component of our interactions with the interfaith community. We also seek ways to share in prayer and action. For a more indepth answer and some key theological principles, visit the the Paulist Fathers, authored by Fr. Tom Ryan, Director of the Paulist Office for Ecumenical & Interfaith Relations.
What is ecumenism?
Ecumenism is the process of bringing the unity that Jesus desired (John 17:21) to the Christian church. The word ecumenical means worldwide and implies a worldwide movement toward Christian Unity. For a more in-depth answer and some key theological reflections, visit the Paulist Gospel Call page authored by Fr. Tom Ryan, Director of the Paulist Office of Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations.
Are there guidelines for Interchurch Marriage?
These statements and guidelines are offered to assist those working with engaged couples from one of the participating Christian traditions when both have indicated a desire to continue to practice within their own tradition. Download the guideline here.
Keep up with Ecumenical and Interreligious News
The Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the US Catholic Conference of Bishops publishes a monthly e-newsletter with up to date information on dialogues and events. Add your name to the SEIA mailing list.
Want to learn more about ecumenism on the ground?
Find our about upcoming events and opportunities for education, visit the CADEIO website.
The Catholic Association for Diocesan Ecumenical and Interreligious Officers publishes an e-newsletter that reports on local activities around the country, offers summer institutes, and provides significant programming at the annual National Workshop on Christian Unity.
On the Path Towards Christian Unity is a 14-part video series, produced by the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the US Catholic Conference of Bishops, that explores the broad topic of ecumenism in the Catholic Church.
Guided by the landmark documents of the Second Vatican Council, On the Path Toward Christian Unity, covers both foundational concepts and pastoral applications for the lay person, religious, priest, beginner or veteran, practitioner or student of the ecumenical movement. The series also comes with a study guide to help facilitate conversation and reflection. The 14 talks are offered by a variety of individuals with distinct expertise in the area of ecumenism.
Click here to view the entire series.
Vatican Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity
Documents and other materials related to ecumenism are found on the Vatican's Web site.
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
The Week of Prayer takes place each year from January 18-25. Resource materials including homily helps, ideas for local celebrations and sample orders of worship are available from the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute.