NORWAY – The Christ Episcopal Church and St. Catherine of Sienna Roman Catholic Church recently celebrated the anniversary of their 25-year-old covenant.

The people of both congregations, together with their bishops, worshipped in a liturgy at St. Catherine’s, then had refreshments across the street at Christ Church.

Episcopal Bishop Chilton Knudsen spoke about human yearning for unity. She said, “Differences remain between the Anglican and Roman traditions, but our yearning for each other can be described as sweet longing.”

In his reflection, Catholic Bishop Richard Malone continued the theme of unity by talking about how “we see each other not only with our eyes but also with our hearts.”

The celebration included hymns and an anthem sung by the combined choirs of the parishes. In his opening prayer, the Rev. Gerald Levesque, pastor of St. Catherine’s, remembered the common story of both congregations.

Christ Church’s rector, the Rev. Anne Stanley, spoke of how the covenant began 25 years ago with a desire to share space, resources, sermons, social outreach, educational opportunities, meals and liturgies. The congregation then read the covenant and promised to continue to uphold it.

St. Catherine’s and Christ Church have been faithful to their promises, first made on Oct. 14, 1979. The two choirs have expressed a desire to combine regularly on some Sundays – an additional activity not in the original covenant.

In recent years the parishes have hosted an annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner, offered a Blessing of the Animals near the Feast of St. Francis each October, have shared in Lenten and other studies, scheduled an annual covenant service of prayer and music.

Each parish has a Covenant Committee which meets several times a year. And every Monday 9 a.m. Levesque crosses Paris Street to Christ Church to join the Revs. Stanley and Tom Teichmann of Trinity Lutheran for Bible study, which the three of them do year-round.

The original covenant and the renewal documents are on display at both churches, located on Paris Street at the corner of Green Street.

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