On 15 November 2009, the thought of a Shrine to Christian Unity emerged in my mind to be laid out on the land. The core of the Shrine is the history of the Church of Christ, why people chose to divide – the facts – the little things which divide us – the many things which unite us – the steps to unity which all can achieve. All of this will be inscribed in marble or bronze along the circumference of a great round, stone, domed room, in historical sequence of events in time. It will be like the monuments in Washington, D.C. – to exist there forever as an everlasting reminder that we are called to true unity in one, holy, universal and apostolic Church with Peter as our Vicar and Christ as our Head – we, the Body.
(A) There will be bronze reliefs and statues of scenes from the New Testament as follows:
- You are Peter and on this rock I will found My Church;
- Jesus’ prayer for unity (John 17);
- St. Paul’s teaching on the Mystical Body of Christ
- Various teachings on how it is Satan’s desire to scatter and divide and destroy and blind and lie.
(B) There will be 3 other great, domed rooms which teach Christian teachings:
- Trinity – Holy Family – Human Family – Life
- Eucharist – Lord’s Supper – Bread of Life Discourse – Miracles performed by Jesus – Sacraments
- Word – Redemption – Calvary – Fulfillment of the Law & the Prophets – Beatitudes
1 Theme 2 Theme 3 Theme
Faith Love Hope
Be Do Know
Acknowledge Respond Listen
Perceive/See Give Learn
(C) Adjacent the 3 domes and evenly dispersed and adjoined to the central dome will be 3 chapels for worship:
- Lutheran / Anglican / Episcopalian
- Methodist / Baptist / Other Protestant
Worship will occur in these chapels as a sign of division, but also as an invitation for unity. Children of other denominations will be given opportunity to see and understand each other’s worship practice and be catechized on our differences and similarities and grow to understand and choose based upon facts. Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) will be offered or at least information about it; other faiths may also offer. But the point here is to tell the truth – the history – the long and deep Tradition and how differences have occurred in recent history and to invite to unity of heart. (And what we don’t know, and similar, right or wrong.)
It is important to note that the Catholic chapel must be as the trunk of a tree with the other two chapels being like branches which have formed or are like grafts into the trunk. All came forth from the trunk; all should be re-grafted back into the trunk for in the trunk is the source of all nourishment (the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church). Let there be truth and peace in this shrine; leave no room for pride! [20 Nov 2009]
(D) Chapel and Tower of Christian Unity. A path will lead from the 4 domes to a chapel and a tower on a nearby hill. The chapel will be designed for use by all Christians and we will pray there always for Christian Unity. Nothing in the chapel will divide us – but only unite us. The tower will be like a Light House with a Light which will not be covered. It will have bells which call for Unity.
- The Light House / Bell Tower of Unity will play several tunes, one of which will be “Amazing Grace”, a familiar hymn to the local people and a reminder of the fact that we are blinded and scattered, and the Lord heals us and brings us all together again into one fold. His Light shows us the way. His Light draws us to Himself in Love and mutual affection. Let all see the Light, the Good Shepherd, and come to be reunited in glory with God our All. [20 Nov 2009]
(E) Mary’s Unity Meditation Garden. The adjoining forests along the streams will have azaleas, dogwoods, and natural flowering flora and rose gardens to encourage prayer and meditation. The garden will be dedicated to Our Virgin Lady and Mother and her great love for all who would be her children and love her Son and “Do whatever he says.”
(F) Path to the Chapel and Tower of Christian Unity. [20 Nov 09] This path should be aligned with statues of social and Church leaders who, in Heaven now, have mended their divisions and humbled themselves before God. They are to be an example to us, calling us to unity in love and kindness. Examples are:
- Martin Luther King, Jr. & George C. Wallace
- Martin Luther & the Pope of his time
- Henry VIII & the Pope of his time
- Calvin & the Pope of his time
- Pope Paul VI who called for ecumenism
- Leaders of other major protestant groups and the Pope of their time
- Abraham Lincoln & Jefferson Davis (Catholic)
- Indian chiefs & American leaders of the time of the Indian Wars
- Pope Bl. John Paul II under whose leadership the iron curtain came down.
- Pope Benedict & current leader of the Eastern Orthodox Church
This vision ends as above. We need this in America as a sign to the world. Factual and humble history are important ingredients. There is no time left for disunity. There is only time for healing, unity and love. Who will approve? Who will translate and implement? Is this meant to be a spacial building or can it be an internet building or both? Who will lead? Who will manage?