John 17 in Ogdensburg, New York
Just a short report on Matteo and I's trip to Massena New York Feb 19-22.
Massena is on the St Lawrence River directly across from Canada. Pastor Don Curry of New Testament Church has been the coordinator for the local ministerial association for a number of years and has reached out and included the priests of the two Catholic Parishes in town. He has a great heart for unity. He arranged for Matteo and I to come and have lunch with Bishop Terry LaValley in Ogdensburg on Friday the 20th. Three additional priests joined us for our meal and fellowship time; Father's Doug, Kevin and Gary Gireaux.
Friday evening we had a joint meeting of Catholic and Protestants in New Testament Church and Matteo shared the vision for unity as presented by Pope Frances. Father Gary Gireaux joined us for the meeting and helped to lead us in prayer around the altar at the end.
Saturday we had a brunch for the ministers of the area where people were allowed to ask questions of Matteo. I believe there were many obstacles removed in this intimate time of fellowship.
Matteo ministered on Sunday as well. I was his interpreter, not particularly of his Italian but of the intent of his english sentences! In each of the meetings Matteo sang a song 'ABBA Padre' in Italian. The presence of the Lord was so touching at that moment as the song is a prayer for unity.
There was much ground work laid for further initiatives of unity in the whole Ogdensburg/Massena area. Bishop LaValley was very interested in Matteo starting a 'Community of Jesus' in his community. More meetings are being planned!
To God be the glory!