Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley accepts invitation to preach at Sudbury Methodist church, recalling historic visit by Cardinal Richard Cushing

With the 50th anniversary of Vatican II being marked, Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley has accepted an invitation to preach in January at Sudbury United Methodist Church, site of a historic visit by Cardinal Richard Cushing half a century ago.

O’Malley, leader of the Archdiocese of Boston, will preach during an ecumenical service at 4 p.m. Jan. 12, the archdiocese said today in a statement.

On Jan. 19, 1964, Cushing, then the Boston archbishop, spoke at the Sudbury church, also honoring members of Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Sudbury and representatives of other Christian communities. It was one of the first ecumenical visits made by Cushing during Vatican II, the major assembly of church leaders that adopted measures to modernize the Catholic church and enhance relations with other faiths.

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The leader of United Methodists in New England, Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar, will lead the worship with O’Malley, the archdiocese said.

O’Malley was invited to preach by the Rev. Richard Erikson, a pastor at Our Lady of Fatima Parish, and the Rev. Joel Guillemette, a pastor at Sudbury United Methodist Church, the archdiocese said.

The service is seen as “a time for Christians to take stock of the progress being made toward greater church unity,” the archdiocese said.

Sudbury United Methodist Church is at 251 Old Sudbury Road. Neighbors are invited to attend the service.