Today, I wrote to pastors about the call of our Holy Father, Pope Francis, for a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, in the entire Mideast region, and throughout the whole world to be held this coming Saturday, September 7, 2013. The Pope made the announcement during the course of remarks ahead of the traditional Angelus prayer this Sunday. The full address is available on radiovaticana.va.
Resources are available at www.usccb.org. They include a prayer resource that may be helpful: Prayers for peace in Syria, which is provided by Catholic Relief Services’ program Catholics Confront Global Poverty.
Also, please see a press release and letter from Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chair of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, to Secretary of State John Kerry. This letter calls for the United States government to work with other governments to “obtain a ceasefire” in Syria and create “a future for all Syrians, one that respects human rights and religious freedom.”
Let us all join together to pray for peace, so that as Pope Francis said on Sunday: “War never again! Never again war! Peace is a precious gift, which must be promoted and protected.”