500th Anniversary of the Reformation

500th Anniversary of the Reformation Events: Programs co-sponsored by the Cathedral of Saint Andrew, the Catholic Information Center, Christ Lutheran Church, the Diocesan Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, Grand Rapids Lutheran Conference, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, and Trinity Lutheran Church. ONLINE REGISTRATION

lutherlogoEcumenical Conference: From Conflict to Communion

Saturday, September 9, 8:30am-12:30pm
At the Catholic Information Center

(360 Division Ave. S, Suite 2A, Grand Rapids, MI 49503)
Cost: $15.00 per person.
*Please pre-register by calling 616-459-7267 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dr. Karin Maag, Calvin College
Dr. Susan K. Wood, Marquette University, Wisconsin

During this 500th year of commemoration of the Reformation, we bring you several programs that explore our common beliefs and shared heritage as Christians. We begin our series with this Conference that explores our Catholic Lutheran relationship through history, ecumenical dialogue and the ongoing path to Christian unity.

Session 1--500 Years Later: Why the Reformation Still Matters with Dr. Karin Maag
In 2017, Christians are marking the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Yet many today struggle to understand what the Reformation was all about, or why it still might matter today. Come learn more about why the Reformation mattered at the time, especially in the lives of ordinary Christian men and women, and what the enduring legacies of the Reformation might be for the Christian church today.

Dr. Karin Maag is the Director of the H. Henry Meeter Center for Calvin Studies and professor of history at Calvin College, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is the author of numerous books and articles, including most recently, Lifting Hearts to the Lord: Worship with John Calvin in Sixteenth-Century Geneva (Eerdmans, 2016).

Session 2— Moving Together from Conflict to Communion, with Dr. Susan Wood
As Lutherans and Catholics look back at 500 years of separation –they also see new paths toward deepened mutual understanding and closer relations. This session will explore developing shared narratives of our history, of emphasizing and strengthening “what is held in common,” and of praying together.

Susan K. Wood, SCL, Ph.D., a Sister of Charity of Leavenworth, Kansas, is a professor of theology and Chair of the Department of Theology at Marquette University. She has recently co-authored a new book with Timothy Wengert called, A Shared Spiritual Journey: Lutherans and Catholics Traveling Toward Unity (Paulist Press 2016).


Martin Luther: Reformer of Church and Society
Tuesday, October 3, 7-8:30pm
Presented by Dr. Kurt K. Hendel and Dr. Philip D.V. Krey
At Trinity Lutheran Church
(2700 Fulton Street E, Grand Rapids, MI 49506)
Registration not required.
Martin Luther's reforms addressed the church's teachings and practices as well as the societal realities of the sixteenth century. In this program learn more about Luther’s insights, subsequent social reforms and how the Reformation became one of the most far-reaching events in world history.

Dr. Kurt K. Hendel is the Bernard, Fischer, Westberg Distinguished Ministry Professor Emeritus of Reformation History at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. His is the author of Johannes Bugenhagen: Selected Writings.

Dr. Philip D. V. Krey is the former President of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. His is the co-author of The Catholic Luther, published by Paulist Press.

Common Prayer for the Ecumenical Commemoration of the Reformation
Sunday, October 29, 3:00pm
Co-Presided by Bishop David J. Walkowiak and Bishop Craig A. Satterlee
At the Cathedral of Saint Andrew
(215 Sheldon Blvd SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503)

On October 31, 2016, Pope Francis gathered with leaders of the Lutheran World Federation to observe the 499th anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing of his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, with a service of Common Prayer shared at the Lund Cathedral in Sweden.  Luther’s act is remembered as the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.  On Reformation Sunday, October 29, 2017, the Grand Rapids area community will share that same Common Prayer service at the Cathedral of St. Andrew with Catholic Bishop David John Walkowiak joined by Lutheran Bishop Craig Alan Satterlee in an ecumenical observance of all that binds us as 21st century people of faith.  The Diocesan Choir will be joined by choir members from Grand Rapids area Lutheran churches and others in a shared worship observance that will include homilies offered by both bishops.  The greater Grand Rapids area community is welcome to share in this historical worship gathering.

50 Years of Catholic Lutheran Dialogue
Tuesday, November 14, 7:30-8:45pm
Presented by Rev. Brian E. Daley, SJ and Dr. Kathryn Johnson
At the Catholic Information Center

(360 Division Ave. S, Suite 2A, Grand Rapids, MI 49503)
Please preregister by calling 616-459-7267

The 500th Anniversary of the Reformation coincides with 50 years of intentional Catholic Lutheran Dialogue.  Dr. Kathryn Johnson and Rev. Brian Daley were members of the ecumenical task force for the “Declaration on the Way: Church, Ministry, and Eucharist,” which identifies agreements already reached in dialogues between Catholics and Lutherans on those topics.  The heart of the Declaration is the “Statement of Agreements,” which draws together 32 consensus statements, where Catholics and Lutherans have already said there are not church-dividing differences between them. Rev. Daley and Dr. Johnson will be discussing a more tentative section of the Declaration that identifies some remaining differences, suggesting ways forward to greater consensus and unity.

Rev. Brian E. Daley, SJ, is a Jesuit priest. He is currently the Catherine F. Huisking Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame and was the recipient of a Ratzinger Prize for Theology in 2012. He has been involved in the North American Orthodox-Catholic Dialogue since 1981, and was recently part of the ecumenical commission that created the Lutheran-Catholic document, “Declaration on the Way.”

Dr. Kathryn Johnson has been director for ecumenical and inter-religious relations in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America church wide office since 2015.  She has worked also at the Lutheran World Federation office in Geneva and as a church historian at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

Ecumenical Art Show

During October the Catholic Information Center will be one of several sites participating in a 500th Anniversary of the Reformation Art Show. The exhibit celebrates the Catholic Lutheran commitment to making the unifying power of God’s love visible in this divided world. Artists from Aquinas, Calvin, Kendal, and other area colleges, along with local Catholic and Christian High Schools, will be invited to share their art work that communicates the theme “Renewed in Word, Faith and Grace.” The exhibit will be open during regular CIC business hours from October 1-31.

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