On March 26, 2017, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Listowel was filled to capacity as congregants from St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Listowel, gathered with members of the Listowel/Wallace Lutheran Parish, to commemorate the 500 years of the Reformation. Under the direction of Rev. Ralph Dwarika and Father Keith Morrison, adult members from each congregation participated in thought-provoking readings depicting how mutual understanding and trust between Lutherans and Catholics have grown over the years. As the ecumenical journey continued throughout the service, Lutheran and Catholic communicants participated in the lighting of candles, meaningfully emphasizing the commitment between both faiths to grow in communion with one another.
The creative humour and wit, genuine friendship, and mutual respect both Pastor Ralph and Father Morrison share with each other was truly evident as they opened the service, immediately drawing each congregation in with the other. The people then joyfully entered into the spirit of the day, ‘raising the roof’ of St. Paul’s with exultant singing of familiar hymns of praise, love and faith. A bonafide sense of exuberant joy prevailed throughout the service; at the end the Lutherans and Catholics together enthusiastically visited with each other discussing their feelings of genuine delight in how joyously the two faiths united as fellow Christians. A time of comradeship and refreshments followed in St. Joseph’s Parish Hall at which time the members from each parish once again chattered incessantly with one another discussing how joyful, personally rewarding and uplifting the day had been, many expressing thoughts of reuniting in a year’s time to once again join in worship together. It was indeed a day of celebration of the Christian faith all will remember and treasure for many years to come.