Catholic Free Press

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  • Sep
  • 5

Bishop and priests plan local prayers

Posted By September 5, 2013 | 12:55 pm | Lead Story #3
Catholics in the Worcester Diocese are planning various responses to Pope Francis’ request for prayer and fasting for peace Saturday. “The horror of what is occurring in Syria and the imminent threat of escalated armed conflict in the Middle East is on the minds of many of us and our parishioners,” Bishop McManus said in a Sept. 3 letter to pastors. He told about the pope’s request and plans.

Catholics in the Worcester Diocese are planning various responses to Pope Francis’ request for prayer and fasting for peace Saturday.
“The horror of what is occurring in Syria and the imminent threat of escalated armed conflict in the Middle East is on the minds of many of us and our parishioners,” Bishop McManus said in a Sept. 3  letter to pastors.
He told about the pope’s request and plans.
“Prayer and fasting is an individual choice we can make to invoke the Holy Spirit to inspire those in power that they may find peaceful resolution through diplomacy,” the bishop said.
“Please ask those in attendance at public liturgies this weekend to pray in a special way for peace in Syria and in the Middle East, in solidarity with this action by the Holy Father.”
The bishop said he would ask those attending the Hispanic Marian celebration Saturday in Worcester to use the occasion to pray for peace.
He recalled the pope’s call to “ask Mary to help us to respond to violence, to conflict and to war, with the power of dialogue, reconciliation and love.”
Parishes in the diocese were also making plans this week after the pope’s announcement.
Father Tomasz J. Borkowski, pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Whitinsville, said he is planning an ecumenical service there from 7-8 p.m. Saturday. He said St. Patrick’s sent an e-mail to the other Christian congregations in town, inviting them to participate.
He said the service is to include Scripture, songs, a reflection, prayers of lament for war and prayers for peace and a non-violent resolution to the situation in Syria and other parts of the world.
After the ecumenical service the teenagers involved in Young Neighbors In Action might lead non-violent stations of the cross and the rosary might be prayed, for those who wish to stay, Father Borkowski said. He said those wanting more information could call 508-234-5656.
Father Robert A. Grattaroti, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Charlton, extended an invitation to Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament from 7 to 9 p.m. tomorrow.
Father Adam Reid, pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus in Webster, said he plans to involve local Catholics in the call for prayer and fasting in a number of ways.
He plans to put a notice in the perpetual adoration chapel to remind the adorers to pray for peace. On Sunday, he will mention this intention again during a celebration to mark the chapel’s 17th anniversary.
This message was also to be mentioned at all Masses beginning yesterday and continuing throughout the weekend.
“I am grateful for the Holy Father’s attempt to solicit widespread prayers at this time for Syria and the Middle East, as well as for the larger world,” he said.
Father Walter J. Riley, pastor of  Immaculate Conception Parish in Worcester, said he will mention this in his homily.