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The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, interview with Father James Loughran, Director of the Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute (GEII)

On Friday the 23rd, Radio Maria NY hosted a special program on the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Since 1898, traditionally observed in the northern hemisphere from the 18th to the 25th of January and formerly known as the Octave of Christian Unity, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity involves ‚ÄéChristian communities and Churches across the world, including the Catholic ‚ÄéChurch.

Launched over a century ago by Fr. Paul James Francis Wattson, SA (1863 ‚Äď 1940) founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement at Graymoor, Garrison, NY, since its inception the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity fostered reconciliation and healing through atonement ‚ÄĒ the unity of men and women with God and with one another. Fr. Paul was ordained an Episcopal priest in 1886. In 1908, he initiated the Church Unity Octave believing that a time set aside for prayer and seminars would hasten Christian unity. An advocate of corporate reunion between the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches, he finally embraced Roman Catholicism. In 1909, the Society of the Atonement became the first religious community of Christians to be received corporately into the Roman Catholic Church since the Reformation. Fr. Paul was ordained a Catholic priest by Archbishop John M. Farley in 1910.

(More on the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement and the Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute (GEII), at: http://atonementfriars.org and http://geii.org/week_of_prayer_for_christian_unity/)

“Since 1968, the resource material for reflection, prayer and celebration on a ‚Äéchosen theme for the Week of Prayer for Christain Unity is jointly issued by the Vatican‚Äôs Pontifical Council for Promoting ‚ÄéChristian Unity and the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches (WCC).¬† This year the theme was: ‚ÄúJesus said to her: “Give me to drink“, taken from the ‚Äéepisode of the Samaritan woman at the well, in John‚Äôs Gospel.”

In his recent meeting with the men and women religious, the Pope spoke extensively about ecumenism suggesting the three main ingredients for a fruitful dialogue:

The Pope spoke of three conditions at the core of the search for Christian unity ‚Äď firstly, there‚Äôs no unity without conversion of heart, which includes forgiving and asking for forgiveness. Secondly he said there is no unity without prayer and therefore men and women religious who pray for unity are like ‚Äėan invisible monastery‚Äô bringing together Christians of different denominations from different countries around the world.Thirdly, the Pope said, there is no unity without holiness of daily life. so the more we put our search for unity into practise in our relations with others, the more we will be modelling our lives on the message of the Gospel.

(Read full article: Pope concluding Week of Prayer for Christian Unity at: http://www.news.va

More insights available:Pope Francis: Religious who pray for Christian unity an “invisible monastery”at http://www.news.va

Resource material for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2015 is available at: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/

loughran_picOur host of the day was Fr. James Loughran, S.A., Director of the Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute (GEII), a ministry of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement headquartered at Graymoor, New York. Today, this Roman Catholic religious community continue working and ministering to people of every race, religion, and walk of life in the United States, Canada, England, Italy, and Japan.

Exhibit on St. Francis Coming to Brooklyn

“A historic exhibit of medieval manuscripts and papal documents associated with St. Francis of Assisi will be on display at Brooklyn Borough Hall from Dec. 2 to Jan. 14.

It was on view this past week at the U.N. Speakers at the opening in Manhattan affirmed the saint’s association with the world body’s peaceful aims and hoped his namesake pope would pay a visit next September.

‚ÄúFriar Francis: Traces, Words, Images‚ÄĚ is a collection of 19 manuscripts and artifacts from the Sacred Convent of St. Francis of Assisi in Italy.

The artifacts date from the 13th and 14th centuries and are outside Italy for the first time in 700 years.

Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Vatican nuncio to the U.N., said the difficult and costly process to bring the ‚Äúpriceless documents‚ÄĚ to New York is ‚Äúworth the effort, because we believe that the values practiced and preached by St. Francis are also the fundamental values of the United Nations, namely peace, the harmonious development of peoples in brotherhood and love for nature.

‚ÄúWithout these values, we have wars and conflicts, injustices and all forms of slavery, environmental crises and disasters,‚ÄĚ he said.

One of the most striking pieces in the exhibit is Codex 338, which contains the oldest existing copies of St. Francis‚Äô writings, including the Rule of the Friars Minor and the original draft of ‚ÄúThe Canticle of the Creatures,‚ÄĚ dictated by St. Francis. The ‚ÄúCanticle‚ÄĚ is considered the oldest poetic text of Italian literature.

The exhibit includes a fragment of a biography of St. Francis by Thomas of Celano, his contemporary, and several papal bulls that refer to the saint and his religious order. The oldest papal document displayed is from 1220.

Steven Acunto told Catholic News Service the manuscripts are ‚Äúcompletely irreplaceable and precious.‚ÄĚ Acunto is president of the Italian Academy Foundation, an institute of cultural diplomacy that is one of the sponsors of the exhibit.”

Beth Griffin (2014, November 2014). Exhibit on St. Francis Coming to Brooklyn. The Tablet. Retrieved from http://thetablet.org/exhibit-on-st-francis-coming-to-brooklyn/

Radio Maria in Alexandria Welcomes Some Special Visitors

‚ÄúDespite the dark and rainy weather outside, Mr. Emanuele Ferrario, Father Francisco Palacios came knocking on our studio door with big smiles and warm greetings,‚ÄĚ said Father Robert, national priest director in charge of programming. ‚ÄúWe were delighted that they were able to come all the way from Italy to visit us.‚ÄĚ

Frank Hare, technical director for RM US met with the group to discuss the urgent need for repairing and replacing essential broadcasting equipment in several areas. They also discussed programming.

‚ÄúLike an early Christmas present, we had a most wonderful visit with Mr. Ferrario and Father Francisco, and then a delicious gumbo lunch prepared by volunteers Paul and Sandra Miletello,‚ÄĚ said Father Robert.

‚ÄúWe hated to see them go, but the warmth and encouraging spirit of their visit remains with us here in the Alexandria studio.‚ÄĚ

Fr. Francisco, Mr. Ferrario and Fr. Young

Frank Hare, Paul & Sandra Miletello, Mr. Emanuele Ferrario, Fr. Robert Young and James Mora

August 27, 2014 – History Supports the Holy Shroud, Part 2

Several revered religious icons, dating from the earliest centuries, depict a similar image of Our Lord. We consider reasons for these similarities. Could these offer additional reasons to believe the Holy Shroud of Turin may have been the burial cloth covering Jesus? There is also significant evidence that suggests the Templar Knights of France were once keepers of the Holy Shroud, but how did they come into possession of it? Finally, recent scientific investigations, based on analysis of pollens found on the Shroud, suggest it may indeed have traveled from Jerusalem to Edessa, from Edessa to Constantinople, from Constantinople to France, and from France to Italy. What wonders God has wrought!

July 25, 2014 – Part I: MMP (Marian Movement of Priests), Italy International Retreat Part II: Community Cenacolo, Italy International Retreat

Part I: MMP (Marian Movement of Priests), Italy International Retreat
Part II: Community Cenacolo, Italy International Retreat

May 21, 2014 – Marika Zimmerman

Francesca Franchina, MS Ed. talks with Marika Zimmerman of St. Luke the Evangelist Parish, Beavercreek, OH and Carmine Marotta, Director of the St. Padre Pio Shrine at St. John the Baptist Church 210 West 31st Street, New York, New York, 10001 (212-564-9070) about the spirituality of Padre Pio, OFM Capuchin, his charitable works building a hospital, The House for the Relief of Suffering on a side of a mountain, the American socialite Mary Pyle who became the only English speaking contact at San Giovanni Rotunda after coming to visit Padre Pio with Maria Montessori and their own experiences with Padre Pio. Learn of the many great works associated to and with Padre Pio. Padre Pio and America, the new book documenting St. Padre Pio and the experience of his American spiritual children. Participate in the program sharing your experiences with St. Padre Pio. Learn how his father came to America to earn money for Padre Pio to attend seminary, how Carmine’s dad met and served Mass for Padre Pio during WWII when he was stationed in Italy. (Foggia, Italy is located at the foot of Mount Gargano and was the site of a US Air Force Base and the home and workshop of Count Caproni who developed planes for the USA during the war and trained pilots. ) Call 1-866-333.6279 to join in the program.

August 22, 2013 – Anthony Ryan & Joyce Coronel

Ken talks with his guests Anthony Ryan and Joyce Coronel. Anthony Ryan, Ignatius Press Marketing Director, discusses the book Bakhita- From Slave to Saint by Roberto Italo Zanini. At age 9, St Bakhita was kidnapped near Darfur, Sudan, by Arab slave traders. For several years she was subjected to brutal and humiliating treatment until she was ransomed and taken to Italy, where she became a Catholic and a nun. Joyfully and serenely Bakhita served with the Canossian sisters in a small, obscure town in northern Italy until her death in 1947. Then something even more remarkable than her redemption happened. The book can be purchased at: www.ignatius.com Joyce Coronel’s novel A Martyr’s Crown reads like today’s headlines regarding the attacks on Christian’s in the Middle East. American journalist, Sarah Castillo has a life-changing encounter with a Catholic priest who survived torture at the hands of jihadists. Sarah learns what forgiveness, faith and love really mean. To learn more about Joyce and to purchase her book visit: http://joycecoronel.com/

February 20, 2013 – Gordon Deery

Francesca Franchina MS Ed. talks with Gordon Deery of Montreal, Canada, about founding and directing The International Holy Face Association; The Shroud of Turin, The Devotion to The Holy Face of Jesus, and the meaning and importance of Pope Benedict XVI designating 2013 as The Year of Faith. Discussion focuses on how we need to continue to grow spiritually, living and sharing the meaning and importance of the Year of Faith, and The Holy Face Promises given to Bl. Maria Pierina de Micheli of The Daughters of the Immaculate Conception of Milan, Italy and Buenos Aires; the blessings being realized through devotion and wearing The Holy Face Medal and devotion of St. Therese of Lisieux to The Holy Face of Jesus. We are called upon in this time to share the knowledge, love and; increasing prayers of reparation and reconciliation as disciples of Jesus under the Mantle of Our Lady of The Holy Face equipping us with WISDOM and spiritual weapons of prayer and sacramentals in the Year of Faith and The New Evangelization. For more information, newsletter, books, etc, see www.holyface.com.

Healing Prayer – July 10, 2012


 Francesca Franchina visits with Fr. Rapheal, a Missionary Herald of Good News and his missionary work with the order founded in India to assist priests, parishes, universities, seminaries and hospitals anywhere in the world where there is a need. Father Rapheal has been a priest for twelve years and is a pastor of a parish of 700 families, has taught in the seminary and traveled to Africa as well as Italy to assist where needed.  A charismatic prayerful priest, Fr. Rapheal shares his experiences in healing prayer even among Non Christians who return to thank him and share their healing stories with him,  Father was in the United States for six weeks visiting various areas and parishes to share the Good News about the Heralds of Good News.

Fr. Rapheal – July 3, 2012

 Francesca Franchina visits with Fr. Rapheal, a Missionary Herald of Good News and his missionary work with the order founded in India to assist priests, parishes, universities, seminaries and hospitals anywhere in the world where there is a need, Father Rapheal has been a priest for twelve years and is a pastor of a parish of 700 families, has taught in the seminary and traveled to Africa as well as Italy to assist where needed,  A charismatic prayerful priest, Fr, Rapheal shares his experiences in healing prayer even among Non Christians who return to thank him and share their healing stories with him,  Father was in the United States for six weeks visiting various areas and parishes to share the Good News about the Heralds of Good News.

February 13, 2012 – Gilles Larose

In this program, Kathie talks to Gilles Larose about his faith journey. He discusses his visits to many sacred shrines in Europe and meetings with noteworthy people, especially Br. Elia of Italy.

December 12, 2011 – Doug Barry

Doug Barry, founder and director of RADIX and Camp Gargano, talks of his conversion and apostolates encouraging families to defend their Catholic faith and preserve the truth.

October 24, 2011 – Liz Lev

Art Historian, author, Vatican Guide and public speaker, Liz Lev speaks about her recent work and book, The Tigress of Forli: Caterina Riario Sforza de Medici.

Mary Advent and Christmas HolyDays – November 30, 2010

Francesca Franchina  speaks with Fr. Clifton E. Bishop of Bethlehem, PA ,  popular retreat director, chaplain  and health educator, about Advent 2010 and planning  a “Mary Advent and Christmas HolyDays .  The holidays promise healing, hope and renewal, but some encounter depression, desolateness and separation . How do we find solace, comfort and Joy in the midst of hustle and bustle, encountering The Mother of Joy and  her Son  Jesus activating  and living The  Word in  everyday life?  Fr. Clifton, a priest in the Diocese of Allentown, PA, grew up  a Baptist and converted to Catholicism through a correspondence course on Catholicism while in high school. He became a Franciscan Friar and later became a diocesan parish priest. He is an adjunct professor and serves as Chaplain of The Holy Family Senior Living and Assisted Living Center in the Archdiocese of Allentown, PA.

T5H Featured Recipes For Today:  Francesca shares her tasty, easy to make Sicilian Spicy Olives; Baked Mostaciolli with Ricotta and  Meatballs;  Zingy Garlic Bread with Olive Oil/ Parmesan Cheese; and  Italian Green Bean/Artichoke Salad with Pepperoni Pieces  and Mozzarella Cubes  from her favorite family recipes hailing from Termini-Imerese, Sicilia.

The Annual Rosary Rally – September 29 2010

Francesca Franchina, MS Ed.  speaks with  Joe Beyerle, Bob O’Connor, Debbie Goldberg and  Cindy Hill  about the  Feasts of Our Lady of the Rosary and Our Lady of Victory, the Victory of Our Lady at the Battle of  Lepanto, Italy  and the  background of  The Annual  Rosary Rally at The University of Dayton Arena, Sunday, October 10, 2010 beginning at 3:00 PM. Founded by Joe  and Bob, the rosary rally concept  has spread to other areas and makes a prayerful statement to bring families to pray for peace in the world and hearts everywhere as the Blessed Mother requested at Fatima in 1917  to address life issues and  end  abortion. 

The 100th Annual Sicily Fisherman’s Feast РAugust 17, 2010

Francesca Franchina, MS Ed. speaks with Phil Privitera and Ray Geany of Boston, MA about the 100th Annual¬† Madonna Del Soccorso de Sciacca, Sicily Fisherman‚Äôs Feast sponsored by The Sciacca ¬†Fishermen’s Society held¬† in North Boston (Little Italy) on August 15th./¬†Discussing the tradition, custom and faith of the people hailing from Sciacca, Sicily revolving around a Marian Apparition¬† to¬† Nicolo Bruno an Augustinian Monk who was suffering from a severe fever and broken neck in 1300. The Blessed Mother appeared to him announcing she was there to help the people of Sciacca and for him to get up and deliver the message. He was instantly healed of his fever and broken neck and spent the rest of his days telling of this great message which they continue to this day with a four¬† day¬† Italian Festa, Outdoor Celebration of Holy ¬†Mass, Procession through the streets of Boston‚Äôs North End and street after street of delicious Italian foods enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year. .

The Holy Spirit and Scripture – July 21, 2010

The Blessed Mother and the Holy Spirit ¬†in Early Church Writings and Today’s Interest in Mary, The Holy Spirit¬†and Scripture:¬†Francesca Franchina, MS Ed. speaks with Fr. Luigi Gambero, SM , Faculty Member of the Marianum in Rome, Italy and the Pontifical International Marian Research Institute (IMRI) at the University of Dayton Marian Lilesbrary about the Holy Spirit and the Mother of Jesus, in¬†early Church documents written by the Fathers of¬† the Church¬†who were acquainted with the Apostles; Ecumenical Councils, Marian Dogmas, what divides and what unites;¬†¬†and¬† ¬†modern day¬†interest in Mary as found in ¬†the¬† writings of Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI,Pope John Paul II¬† and Pope Benedict XVI..

The Blessed Mother & The Holy Spirit – July 21, 2010

Francesca Franchina, MS Ed. speaks with Fr. Luigi Gambero, SM , Faculty Member of the Marianum in Rome, Italy and the Pontifical International Marian Research Institute (IMRI) at the University of Dayton Marian Library about the Holy Spirit and the Mother of Jesus, in early Church documents written by the Fathers of the Church who were acquainted with the Apostles; Ecumenical Councils, Marian Dogmas, what divides and what unites; and modern day interest in Mary as found in the writings of Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI,Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.