REGINA — Ecumenical activities between the Regina Roman Catholic archdiocese and the Anglican Diocese of Qu’Appelle have been steadily growing since the Covenant the two signed in January 2011. Anglican Deacon Michael Jackson, co-chair of the Anglican-Roman Catholic Covenant Committee, detailed some of the activities between the two churches in a report presented prior to a Pentecost Vespers Service held May 24 in Holy Rosary Cathedral.
He described a host of activities in which Anglican and Catholic churches and communities came together for prayer services, including a workshop for First Nations ministry, Bible studies, marriage preparation courses, preaching in each other’s churches and many other activities. But in all of that he noted there remain “some churches not as enthusiastic about the Covenant, and the committee is working to address that.”
Regina vicar-general Rev. Lorne Crozon delivered a message from Archbishop Daniel Bohan, who was unable to attend because of illness.
“I believe that each time we join together and bring common witness we find ourselves on holy ground,” said the archbishop in his message. “For this ground is made holy by Jesus Christ that we may all be made as one, that the world will believe. I hope this venture into common witness, the joy of the Gospel will continue to deepen and bear much fruit for the Lord.”
Qu’Appelle Bishop Robert Hardwicke in his brief address said he thanks God daily for their shared journey together.
“It’s a journey which has caught the attention of many dioceses across the world. We’re pioneering something here which is different, which is hopeful, which is loving and which is in Christ.”
He introduced the dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral, Michael Sinclair, who, along with others, will attend a five-day study at the Anglican Centre in Rome which will include part of a half-day audience with Pope Francis, “who is a personal hero of mine,” said Sinclair.
Bishop David Ashdown, retired primate of Rupert’s Land, now serving as priest in Craik, Sask., in his homily described what he said was the journey of the apostles from a divisive group to one who “burst upon the world” after the ascension, “and the world hasn’t been the same since.”
The journey, he suggested, parallels that of the Anglican and Catholic traditions. “Over the years we have moved from suspicion, perhaps antagonism, to the point of tolerance, and tolerance in the power of the Spirit has become acceptance and now I believe we have a genuine caring and love for each other and a recognition that the gifts that God has given each of us is not to be clutched and hoarded but are to be shared so that together we may also change the world.”
Following the service a reception was held in the cathedral auditorium.