500th Reformation Anniversary



As we commemorate the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, the CIC collaborated with area Lutheran and Catholic churches* to bring you several ecumenical opportunities to worship and learn.

Ecumenical Conference: From Conflict to Communion
Saturday, September 9, 8:30am-12:30pm
Registration Required.  Click Here to Register   Cost: $15 per person.
With Special Guest Speakers:
Dr. Karin Maag, Calvin College & Dr. Susan K. Wood, Marquette University
An ecumenical conference to discuss our Catholic Lutheran relationship through history, ecumenical dialogue and the ongoing path to Christian unity.

Session 1–500 Years Later: Why the Reformation Still Matters with Dr. Karin Maag
Dr. Maag discusses why the Reformation mattered at the time, especially in the lives of ordinary Christian men and women, and what the enduring legacies of the Reformation are for the Christian church today.
Session 2— Moving Together from Conflict to Communion, with Dr. Susan Wood
As Lutherans and Catholics look back at 500 years of separation they also see new paths toward deepened mutual understanding and closer relations. Dr. Wood will discuss the shared narratives of our Christian history, of emphasizing and strengthening “what is held in common,” and of praying together.

Dr. Karin Maag is the Director of the H. Henry Meeter Center for Calvin Studies and professor of history at Calvin College, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is the author of numerous books and articles, including most recently, Lifting Hearts to the Lord: Worship with John Calvin in Sixteenth-Century Geneva (Eerdmans, 2016).

Susan K. Wood, SCL, Ph.D., a Sister of Charity of Leavenworth, Kansas, is a professor theology and Chair of the Department of Theology at Marquette University.  She has recently co-authored a new book with Timothy Wengert called, A Shared Spiritual Journey: Lutherans and Catholics Traveling Toward Unity (Paulist Press 2016).


Martin Luther: Reformer of Church and Society
Tuesday, October 3 @ 7pm
Presented by Dr. Kurt K. Hendel and Dr. Philip D.V. Krey
At Trinity Lutheran Church (2700 Fulton Street E, Grand Rapids, MI 49506)
Registration not required.

Martin Luther’s reforms addressed the church’s teachings and practices as well as the societal realities of the sixteenth century. Learn more about Luther’s insights, subsequent social reforms and how the Reformation became one of the most far-reaching events in world history.

Dr. Kurt K. Hendel is the Bernard, Fischer, Westberg Distinguished Ministry Professor Emeritus of Reformation History at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.  His is the author of “Johannes Bugenhagen: Selected Writings.”

Dr. Philip D. V. Krey is the former President of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. His is the co-author of The Catholic Luther, published by Paulist Press. 


Common Prayer for the Ecumenical Commemoration of the Reformation
Sunday, October 29 @ 3pm
At the Cathedral of Saint Andrew
(215 Sheldon Blvd SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503)
Co-Presided by Bishop Craig A. Satterlee and Bishop David J. Walkowiak

The North/West Lower Michigan Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church is working with the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids to plan this joint ecumenical observance in the style of the Common Prayer service held in Lund, Sweden. This event will highlight the 50 years of continuous ecumenical dialogue between Catholics and Lutherans and the gifts of this collaboration. An ecumenical choir will provide music for the service.

Reverend Craig Alan Satterlee is Bishop of the North/West Lower Michigan Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Most Reverend David John Walkowiak, J.C.D. is Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids, Michigan.


Ecumenical Art Show at the CIC
Theme “Renewed In Word, Faith and Grace”
October 1-31  Open during normal CIC business hours Mon-Thurs 9-4:30 & 6-9pm and Fri 9-1:30pm

This exhibit celebrates the Catholic Lutheran commitment to making the unifying power of God’s love visible in this divided world. Artists from Aquinas, Calvin, Kendall College of Art and Design and other area colleges, along with local Catholic and Christian high schools are invited to share their art work.


Catholic Lutheran Dialogue
Tuesday, November 14 @ 7:30pm
Registration Required.  Click Here to Register  
Guest Speakers: Dr. Kathryn Johnson and Rev. Brian Daley, SJ

Rev. Daley and Dr. Johnson will be discussing the issues and agreements reached in an ecumenical task force dialogue between Catholics and Lutherans. As members of the task force for the, “Declaration on the Way: Church, Ministry, and Eucharist,” they are uniquely qualified to talk about the 32 consensus statements that came out of the task force as well as remaining differences and suggesting ways forward to greater unity.

Rev. Brian E. Daley, SJ, is a Jesuit priest.  He is currently the Catherine F. Huisking Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame and was the recipient of a Ratzinger Prize for Theology in 2012.  He has been involved in the North American Orthodox-Catholic Dialogue since 1981, and was recently part of the ecumenical commission that created the Lutheran-Catholic document, “Declaration on the Way.”

Dr. Kathryn Johnson has been director for ecumenical and inter-religious relations in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America church wide office since 2015.  She has worked also at the Lutheran World Federation office in Geneva and as a church historian at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.


*Each of the above events are co-sponsored by: The Cathedral of St. Andrew, The Catholic Information Center, Christ Lutheran Church, The Catholic Diocesan Office of Ecumenical and Inter-religious Affairs, Grand Rapids Conference of Lutheran Churches, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church and Trinity Lutheran Church.




Other Ecumenical Events in West Michigan

Calvin College Art Gallery Exhibition (Sept 5 – Oct 14) “Stirring the World” Printmaking in the Age of Martin Luther. (click here for full details)
What Can Catholics and Protestants Learn from One Another Today? A Conversation Upon the Occasion of the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.

What Can Catholics and Protestants Learn from One Another Today? A Conversation Upon the Occasion of the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.
Thursday, October 5, 2017 @ 7pm
Calvin College Chapel, Grand Rapids
Dr. Jared Ortiz, Hope College
Most Reverend David J. Walkowiak, Bishop of the Diocese of Grand Rapids
Dr. Karin Maag, Calvin College
Dr. Ronald Feenstra, Calvin Theological Seminary

Is the Catholic Counter-Reformation Over? (Reformation 500 Holland lecture series)
Sunday, October 8, 2017 @ 7pm
Fourteenth Street Christian Reformed Church, Holland
Dr. Eduardo Echeverria, Sacred Heart Seminary


Resources