(Source: MJ/Vatican News)

Sweden’s first ecumenical spiritual retreat will see Catholics and Lutherans participating in a series of encounters on the theme “God’s inner dwelling. Peace in times of crisis and fear”.

The announcement and invitation to participate came directly from Cardinal Anders Arborelius, the Catholic Bishop of Stockholm, and from Karin Johannesson, the Lutheran Bishop of Uppsala.

The meetings are set to begin on 30 May, the vigil of Pentecost, and will take place every Saturday until 20 June.

“We want to respond to this time of crisis with depth. To help the soul to find serenity”, said the two prelates.

It is for this reason that they have launched a website for the occasion. By connecting, free of charge, anyone is able to participate and access in-depth materials, prayers, videos and reflections on biblical texts.

Those who wish to do so will also be able to offer a contribution which will then go towards the restoration of one of two monasteries in Sweden: the Carmelite monastery in Glumslöv, and the Protestant monastery in Alsike.

The bishops explained that at this time many are feeling isolated.

“The Holy Spirit can help us find a deeper meaning” to being alone”, they said, expressing the hope that people might use this time to “learn to listen to God”.

That is why “we have thought of a communal virtual room” where people can pray together during this time of stress and worry, they explained. 

“The church is not just a building”, they added, “but a universal community, where the Spirit binds us, to Jesus and to each other”.

More on Novena from the Churches in Sweden:

Sweden’s cardinal questions government’s refusal to implement strict coronavirus lockdown

Nordic Lutheran, Catholic bishops cry out on corona, migrant crises: “A virus must be combated, but not people seeking refuge”

1 in 2 young Christians in Sweden “humiliated or hurt” for their faith: Churches’ report

Leaders of Sweden’s Churches warn of country’s descent into “nationalistic slumber”


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