The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity was celebrated by Christian Churches in a number of parishes in the Diocese of Meath.
The principal Ecumenical Service in Mullingar was hosted by All Saints Anglican Church on Sunday 24 January 2016 at 7.00pm. The preacher was Fr Robert McCabe (Navan). Among those present were Fr Joseph Naikarakudy (Mullingar Cathedral), Rev Alistair Graham and Rev Trevor Holmes (both All Saints Anglican Church), Fr Richard Matthews (Killucan), Fr Tom Gilroy (Kinnegad), Fr John Nally (Ballynacargy), Mary Murray (Christian Fellowship) and Rev. Stephen Lockington (Presbyterian Church).
Elsewhere in the Diocese of Meath, the following services took place:
17 January – Ecumenical Service in St Mary’s Church of Ireland, Navan at 7.30pm
19 January – United Service in the Parish Church in Coralstown at 8.00pm
20 January – Ecumenical Service in St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral, Trim at 7.30pm (Preacher Dean Paul Bogle)
20 January – Ecumenical Service in the Parish Church in Kingscourt at 7.30pm (Preacher Fr William Coleman)
21 January – United Service in the Parish Church in Ballynacargy at 8.00pm
24 January – Ecumenical Service in the Parish Church in Coole at 7.00pm.
In 1908, Rev. Paul Wattson, then an Anglican religious in Graymoor, New York, began a Church Unity Octave with the support of Anglican and Catholic prelates, including Cardinal William O’Connell of Boston.
The octave began on January 18, then the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter in Rome, and concluded on January 25, the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul.
The following year, Wattson and other members of his Society of the Atonement became Catholic, and in 1910, Wattson was ordained to the priesthood. Observance of the octave spread rapidly, and in 1916, Pope Benedict XV, renaming it the Chair of Unity Octave, extended its observance to the entire Church. The octave is now known as the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
The 2016 theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is “Called to Proclaim the Mighty Acts of the Lord” (cf. 1 Peter 2:9). The initial work on the theme for the Week of Prayer material was prepared by a group of representatives from different parts of Latvia. Click here for further information.