Bishop Brendan Leahy has invited Catholics across Ireland to support and pray for Christian unity throughout the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which takes place this year from 18 to 25 January.
In a video message released ahead of 18 January, Bishop Leahy, who is co-chair of the Irish Inter-Church Meeting, said the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is an important event in the life of the Church.
Explaining what happens during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Bishop Leahy said, “Christians all over the world and in every Church make an effort to focus on that prayer of Jesus – ‘May they all be one’. At times we can let it become a habit or get used to it or forget about it. So, I would encourage everybody, wherever they are – even if they aren’t necessarily with other Christians, in their local church to make an effort or in a local prayer group – wherever it might be – to make an effort to focus on praying for Christian unity.”
Watch the video below:
Resources for this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity were produced by Christians from Indonesia, the largest country in South East Asia, made up of more than 17,000 islands, 1,340 different ethnic groups and over 740 local languages, united by one national language Bahasa Indonesia. With some 86% of its 260 million people estimated to be Muslim, it has the largest Islamic population of any country. About 10% of Indonesians are Christian. Indonesians have lived by the principle of gotong royong which is to live in ‘solidarity and by collaboration’, regarding all Indonesians as brothers and sisters.
The Christians of Indonesia found that the words of Deuteronomy, ‘Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue…'(see Deut. 16:18-20) spoke powerfully to their situation and they chose it as this year’s theme.
Concluding his video message Bishop Leahy asks that as well as praying and encouraging others to pray, we might look out for how in our own lifestyle we might pursue justice and unity and love more directly together.
All the resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2019 can be found in English and in the Irish language here.
Social Media and the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
People are invited to show their support for Christian Unity by posting messages and details of local events to the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Twitter wall – simply add the #wpcuwall hashtag to your Twitter post (they take 15 minutes to appear).
You can also find updates about the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity on Twitter by following the #wpcu2019 official hashtag.