Top left: Jo Shirley (Holy Trinity Lutheran) Kathy Wood (First United Methodist) Margo Morganti (First United Methodist)
Bottom left: Dalene Garilao, Dr. Carmen Espiritu, Roxy Te, Dr. Lizette Villacorte, Carole Marmorato, OFS and Stephanie Reyes
The World Day of Prayer for Missions began in 1927. In 1928, the name was shortened to World Day of Prayer. Ninety years later – men, women, and children are still being called to prayer. St. Aloysius located in Hickory, North Carolina hosted the World Day of Prayer 2017. There were 15 area churches represented: Bethlehem Lutheran, Christ Lutheran, Holy Trinity Lutheran, Mt. Olive Lutheran, Philadelphia Lutheran, St. Andrews Lutheran, Corinth Reformed Church, Episcopal Church of the Ascension, First Baptist, First Presbyterian, First United Methodist, Hartzell Memorial United Methodist, Highland United Methodist, St. Aloysius Catholic Church, and St. Joseph Catholic Church.
St. Aloysius became part of the ecumenical movement in 1997 when Carole Marmorato, OFS the current Minister of the Brothers and Sisters of St. Francis Secular Franciscan Order and a parishioner of St. Aloysius, responded to an announcement in the church bulletin about planning a meeting at St. Andrews Lutheran Church for the World Day of Prayer. Twenty years later, Carole, is also the President of the Church Women United of Hickory, NC and is still actively involved in this ecumenical ministry.
Carole Marmorato stated, “The Church Women United ministry plans two ecumenical worship services a year. In addition to World Day of Prayer, they commemorate World Community Day in November. There are sixteen area churches represented in the Church Women United ministry but ten to twelve churches actively participate.”
The World Day of Prayer’s motto is “Informed prayer, prayerful action.” This year’s call to prayer was titled “Am I Being Unfair To You?” and it was prepared by the World Day of Prayer Committee of the Philippines. Each year a different country is selected and they write their program, incorporating into the order of worship their mission, issues, justice, and peace, everything that is important to them.
When Carole approached the Filipino community at St. Aloysius about the World Day of Prayer for the Philippines they were receptive. “The Filipino community at St. Al’s, through the leadership of Carmen Gaston and Dr. Carmen Espiritu, embraced this event with much enthusiasm. They were excited about this opportunity to celebrate their culture and a unique opportunity to share it with others.”