10 Days Bridges Protestants and Catholics

One of testimonies from this year was related to the Catholic/Protestant divide.  During the 10 Days in 2011, my good friend Christ (rhymes with ‘wrist’) Otto had a profound experience with the Lord. The gist of it was this: 10 Days was supposed to reach out to the Catholic Church, something we had not attempted to that point.  John Spaddacini, a Roman Catholic friend, helped us immensely by making contact with many potential hosts.  However, as we approached the final weeks, all the doors we knocked on were still closed.  We held open one day out of 10 “in hope” that God would do something “last minute”.

As our final leads fell through, we decided to call for a “day of mourning”, inviting Catholics and Protestants to fast and pray as we sought the Lord to break down this historic, cultural, and theological divide.   We held a silent vigil at St. Clement, a 24/7 Catholic prayer and adoration center in the heart of Boston.

Dr. Vito Nicastro, director of Ecumenical affairs for the Archdiocese responded to this invitation by fasting, praying, and meeting us there.  He was touched that 20 young people (YWAM again) showed up to pray in a place that was so distinctly Catholic and foreign to them. As he later shared, Catholic teaching on “Unity” says that it is only a “work of the Holy Spirit”.  The official teaching states that any “unity” effort worthy of the name must be rooted in “prayer, fasting, and repentance.”  Evidently, we both had the same ideas about what would bring about real unity! 

Emails and long phone conversations between Vito and many other evangelicals followed.  Protestants were invited and many came to a historic meeting on the Physician Assisted Suicide bill which included about 60 leaders from all three major streams of the Christian faith: Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Eastern Orthodox.  Friendship, love, and trust are budding.  Both sides are hopeful about what might come.

In this video Bishop Brian Greene (Pentecostal  Tabernacle), Dr. Vito Nicastro (Archdiocese of Boston), Aaron Cieply (YWAM Boston) and Jonathan Friz (10 Days) discuss signs of God's work during the 10 Days Boston.