November 2, 2009
By Beth Griffin
One hundred years before Pope Benedict XVI captured headlines by establishing a special structure for Anglicans who want to be in full communion with the Catholic Church, the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Atonement became the first religious group to be received into the church in its entirety. Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Vatican ambassador to the United States, said the pope's recent overture to the Anglicans could be seen as a fruit of 100 years of prayers offered for the unity of the church by members of the Society of the Atonement.
Archbishop Sambi spoke at Mass Oct. 30 celebrating the centennial of the society's reception into the church. The Mass was concelebrated by New York Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan at Graymoor, the society's headquarters. In remarks to some 400 people after the centennial Mass, Archbishop Sambi said, "Your charism is a charism of the future." From its founding in 1900, the Society of the Atonement has dedicated itself to Christian unity...
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