Office for Christian Unity

Thursday 13 June 2024


‘To all those who wish to enter the monastery of unity (Chevetogne)’
Letter from Dom Lambert Beauduin, 19 February 1940

I would like to suggest to all those who enter here that they leave all particularism at the door and look for the universal in everything: that which is valid for everyone, especially in theology, art, asceticism, and so on. As a means? Irenism! To do all this in a spirit of peace and charity. The monks of Amay [the first place where the monastery was established] must have a cult, a passion for unity in all areas. For example, patriotism is excellent, but not in Amay. It’s a higher ideal. Rites? We need to find the same thing in both (Eastern and Latin), the same Christ. There are no more Greeks, Jews or Gentiles, only Christ.

You shouldn’t have the ambition to do or achieve something yourself. You have to know how to give yourself to work. I’ll do anything, but I’ll fill my soul with this collective ideal in the intimacy of the Word made flesh.

Roger POELMAN, Lettres ‘théologiques’ et apophtegmes de Dom Lambert, in ‘Veilleur avant l’aurore’, Colloque Lambert Beauduin, Editions de Chevetogne, 1978, p. 227


Prepared by the brothers and sisters of the Sacred Heart Convent in Berchem, Belgium

To be adapted according to your location

Next year, in 2025, the Benedictine monastic community of Chevetogne in Belgium will celebrate its centenary. Chevetogne’s vocation is to promote unity between Christians. Since its creation, this community has been characterised by its openness to the great liturgical prayer traditions of the East and West.Sacré Coeur de Berchem, Belgium.

Lord, may the Chevetogne community continue to be one of those spiritual places where people pray and work diligently and peacefully for unity: so that all Christians can come together in full communion; so that together they can bear witness to their hopes and expectations, and so that their message is heard by the world around them, which calls them to account for their faith.

As part of the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the Chemin Neuf Community, an ecumenical conference was held on Saturday 1 June, organised by the Carmel de Mehagne and the Diocese of Liège, with the participation of two members of the Groupe des Dombes. The speakers were Mgr Jean-Pierre Delville, Bishop of Liège, and Anne-Cathy Graber, also a sister of our Community.

We pray, Lord, that this collaboration with the diocese will bear fruit and develop into a close partnership for the promotion of unity among Christians. We also ask you to continue to inspire, through your Holy Spirit, the theological dialogues between the representatives of the different churches of the Groupe des Dombes and the preparations for the second French-speaking Christian Forum, which will take place in Liège from 28 to 31 October this year.

From 3 to 5 May, the second edition of the ecumenical family festival ‘ART OF FAITH’ took place in Bornem near Antwerp under the fundamental values ‘live, meet, encourage’. The 1,500 participants from different Christian denominations were able to experience and celebrate their shared faith in Jesus, in a relaxed atmosphere, through Christian music, creative workshops of all kinds, sports and games.

We ask you, Lord, to encourage all those who, in one way or another, make this festival possible. May this festival continue to grow in the years to come, becoming a meeting place for Christians from the different Churches of Belgium, a place of conviviality and prayer for unity. Holy Spirit, may many young people and families be able to come to this Christian family festival and taste your love and what it means to be a joyful Church.

The Antwerp Council of Churches recently celebrated its 50th anniversary with various activities and prayer events. They have set themselves the goal of promoting ecumenical contacts in Antwerp and raising awareness among Christians of the importance of being able to profess and live their faith together with a view to unity. This is quite a challenge, as the religious landscape is changing rapidly in this intercultural and multi-religious city.

We pray, Lord, that the Antwerp Council of Churches will continue to encourage and support the meeting and prayer between Christians in Antwerp with renewed dynamism in the years to come. May your Spirit enlighten and encourage all those who strive for Christian unity. Ignite in them a new fire and strengthen their hope that in the years to come the Good News of Christ will reach and touch many who do not yet know Jesus.