Warmed- heart greetings this Aldersgate Day, 24th May.
I have just received an email from Angela Macquiban, who has lived for the last few years in Rome serving with her husband Rev Tim at the Ponte St Angelo English speaking Methodist Church not far from the Vatican city. She wrote,
‘I thought I must tell you about a very interesting and inspiring encounter we had earlier this week just next door to us here in Rome! We had been invited to lead a short ecumenical service for a group meeting at UISG, the headquarters of the Mothers Superior worldwide. We’ve been to a few of their interesting talks and day conferences to hear about work of the various orders of Sisters around the world, particularly in South Sudan and with their anti-trafficking initiatives.
‘The meeting this week happened to be the board meeting of WUCWO (World Union of Catholic Women’s Organisations) – the RC equivalent of WFMUCW. There were about 25 of them, representing various parts of the world. We had dinner with the President (who happens to be from Rome) and VP and were able to tell them about W Fed. There were, perhaps unsurprisingly, many similarities in structure, although they operate on a 4-yearly cycle rather than a quinquennium.
‘Much of their outreach in regional and national areas is very much along our lines with SDGs and representation at international level with UN bodies. They were a very warmly welcoming group with a strong ecumenical spirit, which was great to experience, even in such a short time. Tim was able to share a little about Methodism and the Wesleys.’
It occurred to me that John Wesley would have been as pleased as I am to have received this news of links with a Catholic sisterhood that, like our own, reaches across the globe. In our world that is in such need of healing and reconciliation, growing ecumenical relationships can encourage us in our work for justice and peace in the strength that God supplies.
In the words of Wesley ‘If your heart is like my heart, give me your hand’