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Reformation 500 observances: Mark these dates

MIAMI | For Reformation 500, the Lutheran-Catholic observance of the Reformation, the first local event has already happened: On Feb. 26, Lutherans and Catholic volunteers broke ground for a prayer labyrinthat the archdiocesan MorningStar Renewal Center, Pinecrest.

Dubbed "Digging Past Doctrine," the project aims to build a 40-foot-wide brick path resembling the one at the cathedral of Chartres, France. Organizers expect the labyrinth to be finished sometime in the summer, ready for people of all faiths to walk and pray.

Next up, at 7 p.m. March 27, will be "Healing Christian Divisions" at St. Thomas University, Miami Gardens. Presenters will include Bishop Donald J. McCoid, former executive for ecumenical and inter-religious relations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Also speaking will be John Borelli, special assistant for Catholic identity and dialogue at Georgetown University. They’ll discuss the history and impact of the division, as well as prospects of healing the split.

On Oct. 29, Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami will meet at St. Mary Cathedral, Miami with the successor to outgoing Lutheran Bishop Robert G. Schaefer (the Lutheran Florida-Bahamas Synod plans to name a new bishop before then). The service, starting 4 p.m., will be based on "Common Prayer," a liturgy drawn up by the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Commission on Unity.

Also in the works for Reformation 500 is a lecture on Nov. 14 on the theme of unity, again at St. Thomas University.

Elsewhere in Florida, ecumenical coordinators are planning a joint service at Mary Queen of the Universe Shrine in Orlando. That service, with the date to be announced, aims to gather Lutherans and Catholics from the dioceses of Orlando and St. Augustine. Other denominations are being invited as well.

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