Office of Ecumenical & Interreligious Affairs

The Office of Ecumenical & Interreligious Affairs of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston exists as a response to the Catholic Church’s commitment to journey toward full visible unity among Christians and to foster relationships with Jews, Muslims, and people of other world religions.  The OEIA’s mission is to:

  • foster the ecumenical goals of unity of Christians
  • deepen interreligious relations with Jews, Muslims, and followers of other Religious Traditions
  • promote knowledge and understanding among all religious traditions through prayer, dialogue, formation, and collaboration in civic undertakings
  • educate the Catholic faithful of Church teachings on matters of ecumenical and interreligious affairs

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
January 18–25, 2021

Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit. (John 15:5-9)

Welcome to Houston’s 8th Annual Ecumenical Prayer during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.  The year 2021 offers the unique opportunity to “host” a virtual reflection for each day of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

“The Church Unity Octave, a forerunner of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, was developed by Father Paul Wattson, SA, at Graymoor in Garrison, New York, and was first observed at Graymoor from January 18-25, 1908. Today, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity invites the whole Christian community throughout the world to pray in communion with the prayer of Jesus ‘that they all may be one’ (John 17:21).

In 1966, the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches [WCC] and the Vatican Secretariat (now Council) for Promoting Christian Unity [PCPCU] began collaborating as a common international text for worldwide usage.”

Each year the WCC and PCPCU invite a different ecumenical group from around the globe to set the theme and develop the international resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.  “The 2021 WPCU resources were prepared by the Monastic Community of Grandchamp.   The theme that was chosen, “Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit”, is based on John 15:1-17 and expresses Grandchamp Community’s vocation to prayer, reconciliation and unity in the church and the human family.”  Complete WPCU resources may be found at www.geii.org.

Houston area church leaders collectively organized the first local ecumenical prayer service during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in 2014 which was held at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart on January 24, 2014.  Subsequent hosts were Lakewood Church (2015), Pleasant Hill Baptist Church (2016), Christ Church Cathedral (2017), St. Paul’s United Methodist Church (2018), Christ Church Presbyterian (2019), and Christ the King Lutheran Church (2020).

May we continue to pray throughout 2021 and beyond for the unity of all Christians!

“I pray not only for them, but also for those
who will believe in me through their word,
so that they may all be one,
as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
that they also may be in us,
that the world may believe that you sent me.

John 17:20-21

 

WPCU-HOUSTON JUDICATORY PRAYER LEADERS

Day 1 - January 18 (ELCA)
Bishop Rinehart
Theme - Called by God: “You did not choose me but I chose you” (Jn 15:16a)

Day 2 - January 19 (Presbytery)
Rev. Lynn Hargrove
Theme - Maturing internally: "Abide in me as I abide in you" (Jn 15:4a)

Day 3 - January 20 (Episcopal Church)
Bishop Hector Monterroso and Rev. Gena Davis
Theme - Forming one body: “Love one another as I have loved you” (Jn 15:12b)

Day 4 - January 21 (UCC)
Rev. Jasmine Quinerly
Theme - Praying together: “I do not call you servants any longer … but I have called you friends” (Jn 15:15)

Day 5 - January 22 (DC)
Rev. Peggy Edge
Theme - Letting oneself be transformed by the Word: “You have already been pruned by the word…” (Jn 15:3)

Day 6 - January 23 (Ordinariate)
Bishop Lopes
Theme - Welcoming others: “Go and bear fruit, fruit that will last” (Jn 15:16b)

Day 7 - January 24 (UMC)
Rev. Janet Stilwell
Theme - Growing in unity: "I am the vine, you are the branches" (Jn 15:5a)

Day 8 - January 25 (ArchGH)
Cardinal DiNardo
Theme - Reconciling with all of creation: “So that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete” (Jn 15:11)

 

Thank You Message from Rev. Orrin Halepeska

 

Acknowledgments

In gratitude to all who support and pray for Christian Unity:

 Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the Southwest Region

Reverend Dr. Andy Mangum, Regional Minister and President
Reverend Peggy Edge, Community Regional Minister

Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter

Most Reverend Steven J. Lopes, Bishop

Presbytery of New Covenant, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

The Reverend Lynn Hargrove, General Presbyter + Stated Clerk for Administrative Process

Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church

Bishop Scott J. Jones, Resident Bishop
Reverend Janet Stilwell, Chairperson of Committee on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns

Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

The Reverend Michael Rinehart, Bishop
The Reverend Karin Liebster, Ecumenical Representative; Associate Pastor, Christ the King Lutheran    Church, Houston

The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston
Reverend Orrin Halepeska, Ecumenical Officer of Galveston-Houston*
Mrs. Jan Skrehot, Vice-Chair of the Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs Commission*
Mrs. Bridget Richardson, Member of the Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs Commission; Producer, University of St. Thomas MAX Studios*

The Episcopal Diocese of Texas

The Right Reverend C. Andrew Doyle, IX Bishop of Texas
The Right Reverend Hector Monterroso, Bishop Assistant
The Reverend Gena Davis, Ecumenical Representative

United Church of Christ

The Reverend Dr. Don Longbottom, Conference Minister
The Reverend Jasmine C. Quinerly, Association Minister of the Houston Association of the United Church of Christ

*2021 Planning Committee

A special thanks to the University of St. Thomas MAX Studios


       

Rev. Orrin Halepeska
Officer of Ecumenical & Interreligious Affairs and Ecumenism Commission Chairperson
Phone: 281-342-3089
Email Fr. Orrin
Holy Rosary Catholic Church
1416 George Street
Rosenberg, TX 77471