East Meets West
Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2019
In September 2018, Aquinas College faculty member, Sister Mary Madeline Todd, O.P. returned for
the second time to Kiev, Ukraine. Sister was invited to participate in the Assumption Readings
Conference of the Saint Clement of Rome Center, a conference initiated in 2000 to bring together
Christians of the East and the West, Orthodox and Catholic, for ecumenical and cultural dialogue.
Sister Mary Madeline presented a paper on the first day of the conference at the historic House of
the Metropolitan on the grounds of Kiev’s magnificent Saint Sophia Cathedral. This eighteenth
annual conference centered on the theme of community, and Sister’s paper was entitled
“Vulnerability and Hope: Paschal Community According to Jean Vanier and Mother Elvira Petrozzi.”
This year’s conference was one marked by emphasis on the significant questions surrounding the
formation of an autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church. This historic moment in the life of
Ukrainian Christians showed how essential such a conference is, one centered on prayer, dialogue,
and mutual pursuit of truth and unity in Christ.