The Covenant

 The Covenant

This document was signed May 22, 1988, in Rochester, New York,
by Bishop Matthew H. Clark, Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester,
and Bishop William G. Burrill, Episcopal Diocese of Rochester.



Confident that the promises of the Lord Jesus are fulfilled in time, place, and persons, the Episcopal and Roman Catholic Dioceses of Rochester enter into covenant with each other on the Feast of Pentecost, May 22, 1988.


  • To foster the maturing relationship between our two Traditions on the basis of Jesus' prayer "that all may be one ... that the world may believe ..." (John 17:20-21).
  • To promote a ministry of healing, forgiveness, and reconciliation by a deeper knowledge of and respect for each other's Traditions.
  • To pray for our Bishops, Matthew, and William, and for one another, during the Prayers for the People.
  • To establish groups for dialogue, for Scripture study and for examination of theological and liturgical issues.
  • To discuss and share the reports of the continuing dialogue between our Traditions at the national and international levels.
  • To give special preparation to the Episcopal - Roman Catholic couples who seek to be married in the Church and provide after care to them and to their families.
  • to schedule days for retreat and / or reflection enriching to both Traditions.
  • To accept mutual responsibility for social justice issues.
  • To share facilities and resources at the diocesan and parish levels.
  • To collaborate in those activities that promote a broader and actual implementation of the Gospel in our communities, seeking to "do together all that can be done together, and do separately only that which must be done separately" (Lund Report, WCC 1952).
  • To promote a sincere and active participation in this covenant by the parishes of our two dioceses.


With renewed belief in the faithfulness of Jesus and with the unfailing aid of the Holy Spirit, we pledge to bring to life this covenant.


We, Matthew H. Clark and William G. Burrill, aware of the great dignity that we share as members of the Church of Jesus Christ through baptism, come before Him this day to ask His blessings and guidance as the Episcopal and Roman Catholic communions enter into covenant.


We confess the same faith in the one true God, we have received the same Spirit, we have been baptized with the same baptism and we each preach the same Christ (The final report).


We have chosen this time of grace to assist one another in the task of giving a truer witness of Christ to a world that suffers from helplessness, injustice, and oppression.


We desire to affirm our Christian heritage:

We confess that one faith;

let it be manifest in our words and actions.


We are moved by the one Spirit;

let that be seen in our prayer,

relationships and ministries.


We are baptized into Christ;

let what He has made one be evident.


We are one in Christ;

let us preach that unity more fully.


We are members of the one Body;

let our wholeness become a sign of the hope

that is in us.


In the words of Paul to the Phillipians, we are sure of this much; that He who has begun the good work in us will carry it through to completion up to the day of Christ Jesus.


In gratitude to God and to each other and in the presence of His people, we joyfully sign this covenant.

Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester
Episcopal Diocese of Rochester