Ecumenism: Christian Unity

“(Jesus’s) example encourages us to seek a serene encounter with others. To understand one another, and to grow in charity and truth, we need to pause, to accept and listen to one another. In this way, we already begin to experience unity. Unity grows along the way; it never stands still. Unity happens when we walk together.”    -- Pope Francis on "Ecumenism"

This area of mission encourages unity and understanding within the Christian family and reaches out to others who share with us faith in God the Father.

At St. Francis Xavier, our major involvement in Ecumenism is through the involvement of our pastor in the church community of Gettysburg. This interdenominational group holds a weekly summer Sunday ecumenical service at 8:00 a.m. at the Gettysburg National Military Park amphitheater on Confederate Avenue. All of the donations collected are used by the ministerium in providing food, shelter and fuel assistance to local and transient individuals and families.

We are also very active in other cooperative efforts such as the Gettysburg Soup Kitchen, support to local nursing homes, interfaith youth programs, Habitat for Humanity of Adams County, Men’s Interfaith Fellowship, Church Women United and several other Christian-based programs.

In a larger worldview, Pope Francis reminds us:

“In this moment of prayer for unity, I would also like to remember our martyrs, the martyrs of today. They are witnesses to Jesus Christ, and they are persecuted and killed because they are Christians. Those who persecute them make no distinction between the religious communities to which they belong. They are Christians and for that they are persecuted. This, brothers and sisters, is the ecumenism of blood.”

In the same spirit, after an August 2015 incident in which ISIS terrorists reportedly raped, crucified and beheaded Syrian Christian Missionaries, including a 12-year-old boy, Father Bateman has exhorted us:

“We have to keep praying for our persecuted brothers and sisters... May they continue to give witness to Jesus Christ, even to the shedding of their blood. May we be strengthened in our own commitment and witness by their sacrifice.”

Contact Information

Chair: Randy Parmentier