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Rome Reports

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Summit for ecumenism: a new springtime for Christian unity

Every year for 14 years, spring comes to Rome in the fall in the form of a summit, hosted by Springtime of Faith. 

It's founder, Thomas Wykes, runs the event with the main mission of greater ecumenical collaboration. 

Founder, Springtime of Faith
“Springtime of faith Foundation was founded to give life to John Paul II's vision that the 21st century can be a period of spiritual renewal, greater ecumenical collaboration, a new springtime. We started by having our first ecumenical summit because of John Paul's 'Ut Unum Sint' encyclical. We decided to focus very much on advancing the cause of Christian unity.”

He does this by inviting various speakers and Christian leaders to the meeting, such as the first violinist to play in the Sistine Chapel or a former papal chef and Swiss Guard. 

While he was inspired by John Paul II's encyclical, he said Pope Francis continues to pave the way toward ecumenism. 

Founder, Springtime of Faith
“Pope Francis has made such an incredible positive contribution to ecumenism, and he has stressed this importance of friendship. He's also talked about the ecumenism of blood, that we so many Christians of varying faith traditions are dying together, all over the world facing persecution together. I've heard such beautiful stories of Catholic bishops and priests protecting the churches of their Protestant brothers and sisters and vice versa when experiencing persecution.”

Amidst the current global persecution of Christians, Thomas assures that God is always winning, even when situations seem hopeless. 

That's why he wrote a song specifically for Springtime of Faith called “They May All Be One.” It focuses on the idea of Christian unity found in the Gospel of John. All summit participants were able to sing it during the conference, praying for full ecumenical collaboration between all Christian churches. 

Melissa Butz