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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

St. Mary's and Trinity will be a part of a pilot program in Anglican/Roman Catholic relations. Together with other pairs of churches in the diocese of Worcester, and aware of what has already taken place between two churches in Southbridge, we will undertake a formal Covenant of mutual concern joining our two churches together in a unique relationship. As an expression of this covenant, each parish at its principal Sunday services will offer public prayers for the clergy and people of the "sister parish" and for the reunion of the Anglican and Roman Catholic communions. What will happens a result of these prayers remains for the Lord of the Church and His people to decide, although, if the future is like the past, we may expect gratifying - even surprising - progress. And when it happens we will be ready!

After four centuries of estrangement, the Anglican Church (of which the Episcopal Church is the American branch) and the Roman Catholic Church have been blessed with a spirit of warm reconciliation within the past decades but especially within the past five years. In 1966 the Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Ramsey, and Pope Paul VI met and instituted an Anglican/Roman Catholic (ARC) Joint Preparatory Commission.

The ARC meetings in America have revealed that the two churches held surprisingly identical positions, particularly in regard to the Eucharist and historic ordained ministry. A mutually prepared document on the meaning of the Eucharist has recently been agreed upon and carries the further endorsement of Canterbury and Rome. Indeed the members of ARC resolved:

We see the goal as to realize full communion of the Roman Catholic Church with the Episcopal Church and the other Churches of the Anglican Communion. For the past four and one-half years we have given our energies to the task of this consultation. Nothing in the course of this serious enterprise has emerge:d which would cause us to think for a moment that this goal, given the guidance add support of the Spirit of Christ, is unattainable.

In order to let this relationship develop at the grass roots, the ecumenical commissions of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester and the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts called a meeting last June to discuss the possibility of yoking local Roman Catholic and Episcopal parishes together in a formally declared covenant. Upon the work and recommendation of the Ecumenical Committees from both churches, the Vestry of Trinity and the Parish Council of St. Mary's have heartily endorsed the idea as the basis of a new and exciting step toward unity.

As your pastors we desire that you will join in praying and working for reconciliation between our churches so that we will soon have intercommunion. We ask you to attend the service in which we will make our covenant with each other. The service will be held at 7:30 Sunday Evening, April 30, 1972 in Trinity Church.


Faithfully in the service of Christ,

Signatures of David L. Tontonoz and Blase Ciambelli