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Ecumenical & Interreligious Affairs

The unity of all divided humanity is the will of God. For this reason he sent his Son, so that by dying and rising for us he might bestow on us the Spirit of love. On the eve of his sacrifice on the Cross, Jesus himself prayed to the Father for his disciples and for all those who believe in him, that they might be one, a living communion. This is the basis not only of the duty, but also of the responsibility before God and his plan, which falls to those who through Baptism become members of the Body of Christ, a Body in which the fullness of reconciliation and communion must be made present. How is it possible to remain divided, if we have been "buried" through Baptism in the Lord's death, in the very act by which God, through the death of his Son, has broken down the walls of division? Division "openly contradicts the will of Christ, provides a stumbling block to the world, and inflicts damage on the most holy cause of proclaiming the Good News to every creature” (6).
A Christian Community which believes in Christ and desires, with Gospel fervour, the salvation of mankind can hardly be closed to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, who leads all Christians towards full and visible unity (99).

A Short History

Ecumenism and interreligious dialogue have been central to the work of the Diocese of Youngstown for over 50 years.
Over the years, a fruit of this work has been many strong relationships, even friendships, with the leadership and the people of non-Catholic communities.
As a diocese and as our parishes, religious orders, and institutions, we have maintained our commitment to praying, studying, and working together with these communities.
With this foundation, the Diocese of Youngstown continues to be led by the Holy Spirit to increase unity among all people of faith.


January 18-25


Lord Jesus, on the night before you died for us,
you prayed that all your disciples may be perfectly one,
as you are in your Father and your Father is in you.
Make us painfully aware of our lack of faith in not being united.

Give us the faithfulness to acknowledge,
and the courage to reject, our hidden indifference, distrust and even enmity towards one another.

Grant that we all may meet one another in you,
so that from our souls and our lips there may ever arise
your prayer for the unity of Christians
as you will it and by the means that you desire.

In you, who are perfect Love,
grant us to find the way that leads to unity,
in obedience to your love and your truth.


From The Bishop and Christian Unity: An Ecumenical Vademecum, Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity, 2020

Rev. James Korda, Rev. Jeffrey Mickler and Rev. George Balasko discuss the Vatican II document on non-Christian religions


Very Rev. Msgr. Robert Siffrin

Diocesan Director for the Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs

Ecumenical and Interreligious Activity Survey

In order to support ecumenical and interreligious activity in the Diocese of Youngstown, Catholic parishes, schools and ministries are encouraged to complete this survey on ecumenical and interreligious activity. Please return your completed survey to Msgr. Robert Siffrin at or mail to the Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, 144 W. Wood St., Youngstown, OH 44503.

Download Survey

Photo of John Paul II from, used under CC-BY-3.0-PL license

Contact the Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs

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