Signum Fidei Lecture Centers on Call to Christian Unity

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Call to Christian Unity and to Church Reform are Focus of 2018 Signum Fidei Lecture

Published: October 5, 2018.

When Christians from different churches marry, they face many challenges. However, ecumenical marriages can yield crucial insights into Christ’s call to all Christians both to build Christian unity and to reform the Church continually, according to presenters of Lewis University’s 16th Annual Signum Fidei (“Sign of Faith”) Lecture.

William E. T. Hutchison, a former Lutheran pastor in the Metropolitan Chicago Synod for over 30 years, and Cristina L. H. Traina, Ph.D., professor and chair of Northwestern University’s Religious Studies Department, will explore the topic in the lecture, “One Eucharist, Two Tables?--Stories from 35 Years of Ecumenical Marriage” at 7 p.m. October 23 in the St. Charles Borromeo Convocation Hall, located at 101 Airport Road in Romeoville.

To commemorate the closing of the Reformation's 500th anniversary, Hutchison and Traina will explore how Christ's ongoing prayer, "that all may be one" still applies today, especially with respect to the Eucharist, and reformation is ongoing. They are the first married couple to be invited to give the Signum Fidei Lecture.

When they married in 1983, Bill Hutchison, a Lutheran, and Cristie Traina, a Catholic, knew that they were signing on for a life of ecumenism, seeking Christian unity. Bill was heading to the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago to prepare for ordained ministry in the Lutheran Church of America (now part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America), and Cristie was on her way to the University of Chicago Divinity School to begin a career teaching Roman Catholic theology and ethics.

They have kept up their conversation for over three decades and deepened their appreciation for each other’s traditions through raising three children. They have been active members of Evanston Reformation 500 and Beyond, a grassroots group uniting Lutherans and Catholics in mutual understanding, community, work, and worship.

The Signum Fidei Lecture is organized by Lewis University Office of Mission and Identity to celebrate the university’s Catholic and Lasallian heritage, bringing to campus men and women of vision and faith to illuminate issues affecting the Church and its people, to reflect on spirituality in the Catholic tradition, and to provide a forum for topics based on Church teaching.

The 16th Annual Signum Fidei Lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, including group seating reservations, contact Margaret Grabowski, Lewis University Office of Mission & Identity, at or 815-836-5944.

Lewis University is an innovative and forward-thinking Catholic university offering market-relevant undergraduate and graduate programs to 6,500 students. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis University is nationally recognized for preparing intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected and socially responsible graduates. Visit for further information.

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