December 9, 2013 - Cardinal Seán O'Malley Accepts Invitation to Preach at Sudbury United Methodist Church*
The Rev. Joel B. Guillemette, Pastor
Sudbury United Methodist Church
251 Old Sudbury Road, Sudbury, MA 01776
The Rev. Richard M. Erikson, Pastor
Our Lady of Fatima Parish
160 Concord Road, Sudbury, MA 01776
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Cardinal Seán O’Malley Accepts Invitation to Preach at Sudbury United Methodist Church
Sudbury, MA, December 2, 2013 - Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Boston, has accepted an invitation to preach during an ecumenical service of worship to be held on Sunday, January 12, 2014. The gathering will take place at 4:00 p.m. at Sudbury United Methodist Church in Sudbury, MA. Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar, episcopal leader of United Methodists in New England, will share in leading ecumenical worship.
The Rev. Richard Erikson, pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Sudbury, and the Rev. Joel Guillemette, pastor of Sudbury United Methodist Church, invited Cardinal O’Malley to speak during a celebration marking the 50th anniversary of Richard Cardinal Cushing’s historic visit to Sudbury United Methodist Church on January 19, 1964.
Cardinal Cushing’s visit honored the members of Sudbury United Methodist Church, Our Lady of Fatima Parish, and representatives of other Christian communities in Boston’s Metrowest area with one of the first ecumenical visits made by the archdiocese’s episcopal leader during Vatican II. Father Erikson and Pastor Guillemette extended their invitation to Cardinal O’Malley jointly, remembering that 2014 also recalls the 50th anniversary of Vatican II and the significant ecumenical milestones it made possible.
The United Methodist pastor and Roman Catholic priest met in March 2012 while both were taking part in Sudbury’s monthly gatherings for clergy and other religious professionals soon after Father Erikson’s arrival at Our Lady of Fatima Parish. In their letter to Cardinal O’Malley they wrote, “Both of us give thanks to God for the opportunities we have enjoyed to taste the fruits of ecumenical dialogue, Richard in military chaplaincy, Joel in an ecumenical seminary and the Council of Churches in another New England state. We are also part of a collegial and active clergy association here in Sudbury.”
The clergy colleagues see the January 12th ecumenical gathering as a time for Christians to take stock of the progress being made toward greater church unity. They also believe that the service of worship they will host, and the reception that will follow, will offer a model of civility across differences at a time when towns, cities, nations, and even religious communities are too often polarized and divided.
Sudbury United Methodist Church is located at 251 Old Sudbury Road in Sudbury, MA. The pastors and congregants of Our Lady of Fatima Parish and Sudbury United Methodist Church invite all of their neighbors to attend.