One body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in us all. Ephesians 4:4-6
To those members of our basilica church parish, we invite you to ponder Pope Francis’ message today as the Church begins a week of prayer for Christian Unity. We especially invite you to think seriously in love about those Catholics in your family or circle of friends who no longer practice the faith and keep holy the Lord’s Day by celebrating the Mass, the Christian Paschal Sacrifice and Meal. These next few days, pray about whom the Lord is wanting you to invite back to Mass with you and your family this Sunday. Be ready to share why you keep the Christian Sabbath, seek to be transformed mind, heart, and body by the faith of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, and regularly encounter Jesus in the sacraments He left His Church. Allow the Lord to act in you as He desires to pastor His sheep for He loves us all and wants to lead us to the heart and home of His Father who is now our Father. Will you work with the Lord this week to share in His love of all men, women, and children and invite a person or family back to attend Mass with you? Maybe even take a moment after Mass to introduce he/she/them to Fr. Eilerman or Fr. Colopy if the priest(s) are not known to those you brought. Thank you for listening to the Holy Father’s invitation and plea to mark the call to Christian unity and share in God’s joy as you help to bring back those maybe who have not returned to Mass since the pandemic, or before that! You could even consider inviting someone who isn’t a catholic Christian, whom you have reason to believe may be looking for something more, deeper, and with greater consistency and continuity than their particular religious community can offer.
Collect Prayer from the Votive Mass for Christian Unity:
Almighty ever-living God, who gather what is scattered and keep together what you have gathered, look kindly on the flock of your Son, that those whom one Baptism has consecrated may be joined together by integrity of faith and united in the bond of charity. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.