College of Arts and Sciences

Intercessory Prayer in the Mennonite and Catholic Traditions  

Photo of Margaret PfeilThe Department of Catholic Studies, in cooperation with the Archdiocese of Newark's Commission on Christian Unity, proudly presents "Intercessory Prayer and the Communion of Saints: Mennonite and Catholic Perspectives," a lecture by Margaret R. Pfeil, Ph.D. The event will be held on Wednesday, October 19, from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. in the Beck Room (Walsh Library) and virtually via Teams.

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About the Lecture:
This talk will explore theological understandings of intercessory prayer and the communion of saints through an ecumenical lens, holding the Mennonite and Catholic traditions in conversation. We will consider a particular narrative of intercessory prayer involving members of both faith communities and have the opportunity to discuss insights emerging from that story within the broader framework of Mennonite-Catholic ecumenical dialogue.

Pfeil co-edited the book Intercessory Prayers and the Communion of Saints: Mennonite and Catholic Perspectives, which tells an unusual story. The book has an authenticated miracle at the heart of it, describing events leading to the healing of Jun Yamada. A young Japanese Mennonite, Yamada was close to death in Japan in the late 1980s. While his doctor at one point said he was so ill as to have only one day to live, both Catholics and Mennonites there prayed for his recovery. Prayers included a Catholic novena in honor of Blessed Josef Freinadametz, 1852-1908, a Society of the Divine Word missionary to China, asking for his intercession on behalf of Jun Yamada. The unusual circumstances surrounding his healing set in motion a study process which led the Vatican to accept this healing as a genuine miracle, which in turn led Pope John Paul II to canonize St. Josef Freinadametz in 2003.

In this book Professor Pfeil and co-editor, Darrin Belousek, Ph.D., bring together the rich presentations of two conferences. In the first, many witnesses describe the story of Jun Yamada, and the circumstances surrounding the miracle of his healing. The second illustrates Mennonite and Catholic theological perspectives on the key theological themes which help to interpret what happened, namely intercessory prayer and the communion of saints.

About the Speaker:
Pfeil holds a joint appointment in the Theology Department and the Center for Social Concerns at the University of Notre Dame. Her primary fields of study are moral theology and Christian ethics. Research interests include Catholic social teaching, racial justice, non-violence, ecological ethics, and ecumenism. She has numerous publications in these areas. Professor Pfeil is also a Faculty Fellow of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. She is a co-founder and member of the Saint Peter Claver Catholic Worker Community in South Bend, Indiana. For many years she has been a participant in the Mennonite-Catholic Bridgefolk movement.

About Catholic Studies:
Catholic Studies at Seton Hall University offers an innovative, interdisciplinary curriculum for students of any creed who are interested in deepening their knowledge of Catholicism's rich intellectual tradition and living heritage. Combining the study of history, philosophy, theology, literature, art, sociology, and other disciplines, Catholic Studies focuses on the Church's dialogue with culture and encounter with the world. Students interested in Catholic Studies have the option to pursue a major, minor, or certificate that complements and enhances the university's other degree programs and fields of study. Over 20 years the academic program and its variegated activities have stayed true to and fulfilled the Catholic mission and vision of the University. For more information, please contact Ines Murzaku, Ph.D., Director of the Catholic Studies at [email protected] or Gloria Aroneo at [email protected].

Categories: Faith and Service