The Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Melbourne has issued the following communique to the Clergy, Staff and Members of the Archdiocese:
The Holy Father announced during the Angelus a Day of Prayer & Fasting for Peace in Syria, in the Middle East and throughout the whole world next Saturday 7th September 2013.
Mindful of the appalling events in Syria, ongoing violence and unrest, you are encouraged to ask your people to pray with and for, those who suffer at this time. You may choose to use the Prayers of the Faithful or any other opportunity for prayer you deem appropriate. Pope Francis has indicated that non-Catholics too, may wish to join in these gestures of solidarity.
Pope Francis will lead a Prayer Vigil in St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City at 7.00pm. He invites all the Church to unite with him in prayer and fasting for those whose lives are beset by turmoil and violence that peace may reign across the world.
Monsignor Greg Bennet
Like me, I hope you are all welcoming this initiative from Pope Francis. President Obama is pressuring Congress. Let us pressure heaven (in a manner of speaking).
Small spanner in the works: we have another event on Saturday, which is taking some of our nation’s attention. By 7pm this Saturday many of us will have already tuned in to the TV reports from the Election counting rooms, eager to know what the next three or so years might hold for Australian politics. Some have suggested that our time might indeed be better spent in prayer and fasting for world wide peace at this time, than watching the last hurrahs of the federal election campaign.
But – for those of you who like me will find the counting room specials irresistible (even flicking from one channel to another and following on twitter at the same time) – there is an alternative. Pope Francis’ vigil will be from 19:00 to 24:00 hrs Italian time on Saturday 7th. By my calculations, that will be the equivalent of 3:00 to 8:00 hours on Sunday 8th here in Oz. I am sure EWTN, Salt&Light, CTV, or some such will have live video coverage.
So, watch the electoral coverage, have a drink to celebrate (mutatis mutandis if you backed the losing party), grab a few hours sleep, then rise for an early matins vigil at 3am to join Pope Francis for the Vigil in St Peter’s square. Pray for peace in Syria, Middle East, and throughout the world. Then go to early mass on Sunday morning to give thanks that we live in a country where we been blessed with an authentic democracy and truly stable peace.
Then go home and catch up on your sleep.