From 18 to 25 January we celebrate the Week of Prayer for the Unity of Christians.
The cause of unity has been present at the heart of our community since the beginning, and many of the Sisters came to us carried by or carrying this particular vocation: to give themselves to promote unity among all who are baptized into Christ.
We share with you some thoughts from the document Vita Consecrata on the place of the consecrated life in the ecumenical mission of the Church:
Christ's prayer to the Father before his Passion, that his disciples may be one (cf. Jn 17: 21-23), lives on in the Church's prayer and activity. How can those called to the consecrated life not feel themselves involved?
The Synod emphasized the close connection between the consecrated life and the cause of ecumenism, and the urgent need for a more intense witness in this area. Since the soul of ecumenism is prayer and conversion, Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life certainly have a special duty to foster this commitment. There is an urgent need for consecrated persons to give more space in their lives to ecumenical prayer and genuine evangelical witness, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit the walls of division and prejudice between Christians can be broken down.
I wish to encourage those Institutes which, either because they were founded for this purpose or because of a later calling, are dedicated to promoting Christian unity and therefore foster initiatives of study and concrete action. Indeed, no Institute of Consecrated Life should feel itself dispensed from working for this cause. My thoughts likewise turn to the Eastern Catholic Churches with the hope that also through the monastic life of both men and women — the flourishing of which is a grace to be constantly prayed for — they may help to bring about unity with the Orthodox Churches, through the dialogue of charity and the sharing of a common spirituality, itself the heritage of the undivided Church of the first millennium.
In a special way, I entrust to the monasteries of contemplative life the spiritual ecumenism of prayer, conversion of heart, and charity. To this end I encourage their presence wherever Christian communities of different confessions live side by side, so that their total devotion to the "one thing needful" (cf. Lk 10:42) — to the worship of God and to intercession for the salvation of the world, together with their witness of evangelical life according to their special charisms — will inspire everyone to abide, after the image of the Trinity, in that unity which Jesus willed and asked of the Father for all his disciples.
(From Pope st. John Paul II: Post-Synodal Exhortation Vita Consecrata 100 - 101)