Ecumenical prayer service to promote Christian unity

BOSTON -- In observance of this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity there will be an ecumenical prayer service Jan. 22 at St. John Chrysostom Parish in West Roxbury. Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley will preside, with guests Rev. Dianne Kessler, executive director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches and Metropolitan Methodios, Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Boston.

The theme for the 2007 Week of Prayer is taken from the Gospel of Mark (7: 37), “He even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak,” and calls for Christians to express their growing unity both by breaking the silence and by joining together in responding to human suffering. The annual week of prayer dates back to 1908 and was established to invite Christians to work and pray for that unity which is the will of the Lord, for He Himself prayed that all His disciples would be one (Jn 17:20-21). It is traditionally held between Jan.18-25 to cover the days between the feast of St. Peter and the feast of St. Paul. The service begins at 7:30 p.m. in the church and will be followed by a reception.