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As the new academic year begins across the country, we remember a special moment from the past spring semester.

In March, Sister Maria del Fiat Miola, SSVM traveled to Boston to present in the Ninth Annual Archbishop Iakovos Graduate Student Conference in patristic studies hosted by the Holy Cross Orthodox Seminary.  Her talk, “Irenaeus’ Adversus Haereses 3.22.4: Mary as Untier of Knots”, offered a fresh analysis of the image of the knot used by St. Irenaeus to describe Mary’s role in the economy of salvation.  Sr. Fiat is currently a graduate student in the Center for Early Christian Studies at The Catholic University of America.

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In addition to sharing her academic labors through the conference, Sr. Fiat and Sr. Bon Secours (who accompanied her) had time to meet the other presenters and students of the Orthodox Seminary.  They joined the Orthodox seminarians, sisters, and students for prayer together, as well as meals in common with other presenters.  These kinds of environments of scholarship and mutual respect can further ecumenical relationships between fellow disciples of Christ.

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In our Religious Family ecumenical work among Orthodox Christians can be seen as belonging especially to our Eastern Catholic members in the foreign missions: our Byzantine Catholic sisters and priests in Ukraine, our Coptic Catholic sisters and priests in Egypt, and our Italo-Albanian sisters in Sicily.  However, this time one of our sisters here in the United States also has had a unique opportunity to foster Christian unity through her studies.

We pray that these encounters and foundations in common ground can help to forge the bonds of unity which Christ prayed for to the Father: ut unum sint, that they may be one.

Further Resources:

Ut Unum Sint – John Paul II’s 1995 Encyclical

Orientale Lumen – John Paul II’s 1995 Apostolic Letter

Our sisters’ website in Ukraine features a series of videos about our aspostolate, works of mercy, and religious family in the Eastern Catholic Church.