Photograph: Caritas Switzerland
Pope Francis has invited people of all faiths to join him in prayer for peace in Syria, "I have decided to proclaim for the whole Church on 7 Sept. next, the vigil of the birth of Mary, Queen of Peace, a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, the Middle East, and throughout the world." (VATICAN CITY, September 01, 2013)
As we in the Catholic Church continue to harvest the Year of Grace, we are reminded that for more than 12 months we have been praying,
Gracious God… attune our hearts and minds to the presence of your Holy Spirit,
that our Church may be transformed,
our relationships be healed,
and our nation grow in compassion and justice ...
Mary Help of Christians, (Mary Queen of Peace), pray for us.
Pope Francis is inviting us to extend our prayer to embrace all the nations, particularly Syria. We are therefore inviting you to:
- take up this invitation personally;
- extend the invitation through your various networks;
- organise a gathering for a special prayer time in your community if that is possible.
Download the full text of Pope Francis’ invitation.
Many groups and agencies have organised prayers for Syria. The Catholic Charity Aid to the Church in Need has organised a Week of Prayer and the texts are available on the Zenit site. Day 1, 2 and 3 are available here, you can also read Day 4 and Day 5. These prayers, or others you find, may assist you and your community sustain the prayerfulness and fasting on September 7.
As this is the day of the Federal election, we are reminded of our Bishops' collective call to make choices that serve the most vulnerable members of our community.
Most Reverend Bill Wright (Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle)
Rev Brian Mascord (Vicar General)
Teresa Brierley (Vice Chancellor Pastoral Ministries)
Sean Scanlon (Vice Chancellor Administration)
Ray Collins (Director, Catholic Schools Office)
Lisa Short (Director, CatholicCare Social Services)
Louise Gannon rsj (Year of Grace Co-ordinator for the Diocese)