Author Archives: Skrehot, Jan

Greetings! CADEIO & USCCB-SEIA News & Updates:

Greetings CADEIO members and friends,

Below you will find several newsworthy items of the past, a reminder of the upcoming deadline for the Summer Ecumenical Leadership Institute, and two very important messages from the USCCB-SEIA: one on Ramadan, and the second one regarding peace in Egypt and the Middle East.

NWCU 2018.  A little over a month ago many of us were together in Silver Spring, Maryland, at the 54th National Workshop on Christian Unity.  With a focus on advocacy and the “dialogue of action” the workshop offered a unique opportunity to give intentional thought to how Christians can and do unite to share the love of God in everyday life for the common good.  For those of you who were not there, I hope you have had the opportunity to read the texts of the talks given by Bishop Joseph Bambera, Chair of the USCCB-SEIA, and Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB, Chief Executive Officer Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation.  These were emailed to all CADEIO members several weeks ago.  Thank you, Bishop Bambera and Fr. Rosica, for inspiring a renewed sense of hope and enthusiasm for the ecumenical and interreligious work we do out of love for God, others, and the Church!      Mark your calendars for the April 1-4, 2019 NWCU in St. Louis, Missouri.  Feedback/suggestions are welcome for planning the 2019 workshop. Please send suggestions to skrehotj@stthom.edu.

2018 Fitzgerald Award Recipient.  Ms. Judi Longdin was named the 2018 recipient of the Fitzgerald Award! Recently retired, Judi served as the Director of the Office of Ecumenical & Interfaith Concerns at the Archdiocese of Milwaukee from 1993 until her retirement.  Judi has also been a long-standing member of CADEIO, and among serving in many initiatives and dialogues over the years, Judi held the position of chair of the Faiths in the World Committee and taught in the Interreligious Summer Institute.  Congratulations, Judi, and thank you for your years of service!

Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue: A Message for Ramadan.  Fr. Al Baca, Executive Director of the USCCB-SEIA, asked me to pass along to you a letter and the document, Christians and Muslims:  From Competition to Collaboration, sent from Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio, to Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, in which he conveys the annual message of the PCID for Ramadan. You may access the letter and document here: Pierre to DiNardo Message for Ramadan 2018 5776-18 05182018.

USCCB-SEIA Statements on peace in Egypt and the Middle East. On the USCCB-SEIA webpage you will find the following, important statements:  “President of USCCB along with other Christian Leaders Expresses Solidarity with Patriarchs Heads of Churches in Jerusalem and sends letter of concern to Prime Minister and Mayor.”  Read letter to Patriarchs and Heads of ChurchesRead letter to Prime Mininster Netanyahu and Mayor Barkat.  BCEIA Chairman Calls for Prayers for Coptic Christians After Attacks.  “I ask Catholics and men and women of faith and good will to pray for peace in Egypt and the Middle East and for all victims of religious and political hatred. I especially ask Catholics to renew their support, love and prayers for our Coptic brethren who are enduring martyrdom for the sake of Christ. May all continue to receive from heaven the grace to witness to what is good and noble in the human spirit, recovery for all those who have been injured, and eternal rest for those who have died.” Bishop Joseph C. Bambera, Diocese of Scranton, PA, Chair, Bishops’ Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs.  Read the text of the full statement.  USCCB-SEIA

2018 Summer Introductory Ecumenical Leadership Institute.  The June 1st deadline to register for the 2018 Summer Introductory Ecumenical Leadership Institute is approaching.  If you are interested in attending and have not registered, please do so now!  Link to registration: 2018 Summer Introductory Ecumenical Leadership Institute.

Thank you for the work you do, and I hope each of you have a wonderful summer!

In the peace of Christ,

Jan Skrehot, President, CADEIO

Notice of Upcoming CADEIO Deadlines, NWCU Registration, & Dates for the Centro Pro Unione Summer Study & the July 23-27, 2018 CADEIO Introductory Ecumenical Leadership Institute

Greetings CADEIO members!  I hope your Lenten journey is one filled with opportunities of purification and grace as you journey toward Easter and the joy of encountering the Risen Christ!

I am writing to remind you of upcoming CADEIO report deadlines, NWCU Priority/Group Rate Hotel Registration, and dates for the Centro Pro Unione Summer Study & the July 23-27, 2018 CADEIO  Introductory Ecumenical Leadership Institute.  I encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities for formation.  Click this link to access information about all deadlines and events.

Thank you for all you do in service to God and the Church.

In the peace of Christ,  Jan

In gratitude to God…

2017 – The year of natural disasters beyond compare; ruthless, senseless mass shootings; political disharmony; racial acts of violence…the list goes on.  At first thought, many of us might wish to wipe 2017 from the compendium of time as if it never happened.

Yet, pausing, taking a step back and reflecting upon all that humanity has experienced this year reveals to the world ever more so the beauty of the Incarnation – the Word Made Flesh, Christ among us!  Through his life, death, and resurrection, not only did Jesus fulfill his mission of restoring humanity’s relationship with God, offering salvation for all, he modeled for each of us the way of surrender, of trust, of endurance and perseverance, of never giving up on God’s divine providence and will in all things.  On the night before he was betrayed, he cried out to his Father in anticipation of his passion, and then he ultimately surrendered as he prayed “not my will, but yours be done.”  (Luke 22:42) He trusted that no matter how hard, how painful the events to follow might be, his Father would hold him and keep him in his care.  He endured the brutality that was inflicted upon him, and he finally saw his time on earth come to an end, persevering until death on the cross.

In all that humanity has endured in 2017 it would be so easy to lose hope, to give up and give in to despair if we remain at the cross and do not believe in the Resurrection.  Light follows darkness and hope remains strong when we encounter the Risen Lord in all aspects of life! In and through Christ, we can and will persevere, and this has been revealed time and again this year through the many caring people who have been the hands and feet of Christ, bringing help and hope to those in need.

After the rains of Hurricane Harvey stopped, one of the first questions asked of others was, “Did your house flood?”  Many whose homes did not flood quickly replied, “No, I was blessed!”  For those who did flood, hearing this response brought painful expressions to their faces, and their minds might have questioned, “Am I not blessed because I did flood?”

“To be blessed” can be understood in different ways, and for many people being blessed might mean being without hardships.  But for those who have hardships, how do they know and understand blessing?  Turning to the Beatitudes (Matthew 5), we hear Christ’s words of blessing speak in seemingly paradoxical ways…

            “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven…

            Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted…

            Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy…”

What may seem a paradox, in actuality, is the rootedness of “blessing” for us – a divine and life-giving action, which finds its source in the Father as we praise God in all things with hearts surrendered to Him in gratitude.  (CCC1078)

Some of us may have faced hardships beyond words this year; others of us may have been spared personal hardships while given the opportunity to respond to others in need with hearts of compassion and mercy.  Regardless of what each of us experienced in 2017, may we realize our blessings, and may we offer hearts of gratitude in praise and surrender to our God this Thanksgiving, and throughout the Advent and Christmas seasons and beyond!

In the peace of Christ,

Jan Skrehot