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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Breaking down the wall

The Lutheran-Catholic agreement is personal

Garrison Keillor recalls the time in Lake Wobegon when Lutheran kids dared each other to run up and touch the steps of the Roman Catholic rectory. I remember a book called High is the Wall that warned of the heartbreak involved in a Lutheran-Roman Catholic marriage. Lutheran parents used to give it to their children whenever one of them brought home a Catholic date.

Much has changed in the course of two generations.

Last weekend my wife and I were picked up at the airport by Rich and Sherry Siniawski. It didn't take long to discover that Rich grew up Catholic. His marriage had brought him into the Lutheran church, and he has served in practically every office a congregation has to offer, including council president. When I asked him how his parents had reacted to him marrying a Lutheran, he said they simply were glad he would be active in a church.

As a Lutheran college president I discovered that Catholics were the second largest religious group in the student body. I asked their parents, "How do you explain to your Catholic friends that your children attend a college called 'Luther'?" They said, "We tell them we are pleased with the product, and the brand doesn't matter."


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August issue

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