For the third year, St. Adalbert’s R.C. Parish and Holy Name of Jesus PNC Parish joined together on the Sunday within the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity to jointly offer our petitions and prayers for Christian unity. Fr. Carl Urban of St. Adalbert’s and Fr. Stanley Bilinski Jr. of Holy Name jointly planned the service. They invited His Grace, the Most Rev. Howard Hubbard, Bishop of the R.C. Diocese of Albany to join in prayer and to be the guest homilist.
The theme of this year’s service was: “You are witnesses of these things.” (Luke 24:48). The Gospel reading was Luke 24. This year’s service fell on the centenary of the Edinburgh Mission Conference which began the Ecumenical movement. Fr. Bilinski and Fr. Urban offered prayer during the service using the texts adapted and published for use in the United States by the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute. Deacon James Konicki offered the Gospel, and Mr. Lawrence E. Panfil and Mrs. Claudia C. Bertasso, the Chairman and Treasurer of Holy Name Parish, offered the petitions. Music was offered by Holy Name organist and choir director Liz Battaglia.
Bishop Hubbard’s well elucidated talk focused on the centrality of prayer and local action as the starting points for ecumenism. He noted that unity will not be achieved by a forced unanimity in prayer and organization, but by a mutual sharing of the gifts, liturgical life, and organizational structures found in the Churches.
Following the service, Fr. Bilinski led the congregation in the Exposition and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament according to the Rites of the Polish National Catholic Church. Bishop Hubbard offered a blessing.
A festive repast was held in the Parish hall following the service where a large selection of delicacies, pastries, and drinks was served. As Fr. Bilinski noted, this event has now become part of our shared experience and something that stands along major events in our yearly calendar. We look forward to joining with the congregation of St. Adalbert’s at their Parish in 2011.
More photos are available in our Parish Photo Gallery.