Irish bishops are inviting the faithful to join with them and with Pope Francis to pray for peace in the Middle East and especially for the people of Syria on Monday 31 October, which is a public holiday in Ireland.
This prayer initiative has been organised to coincide with the
Holy Father’s participation in the ecumenical commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation due to be held in Sweden on 31 October.
The idea behind this event, co-organised by the Catholic Church,
Caritas International and the Lutheran World Federation, is to shift
relations from conflict to communion with a focus on young people and
the hope which this commemoration will bring.
On Monday next, Pope Francis, alongside Bishop Munib Younan,
President of the Lutheran World Federation and the Rev Martin Junge, the
Federation’s General Secretary, will lead a common prayer service based
on the recently published Catholic-Lutheran Common Prayer liturgical
guide at 1.30pm Irish time.
invite the faithful to gather on Monday at a time that most suits their
needs and to hold a prayer gathering in parishes, schools, community
venues, or at home.
A special prayer, which has been designed for use
on the day has been made available.
In addition, Trócaire, the bishops’
overseas development agency has developed a special prayer service for
use in parishes on this occasion.
This is available to download from catholicbishops.ie.
Commenting on the prayer initiative, Bishop William Crean, Bishop of
Cloyne and Chairman of Trócaire said, “Innocent men, women and children
are paying the ultimate price in the continuing conflict raging in
Syria, especially in Aleppo, where they are caught in the crossfire. I
join with Pope Francis in urging governments to find a political
solution to the war in Syria. I encourage the faithful to share the
ideals of the Caritas International #PeacePossible4Syria campaign and to
pray for peace in the Middle East, especially in Syria and the City of
Those taking part in prayer gatherings on Monday 31 October are
invited to share their particular prayer service using the hashtag
Caritas International is a confederation of over 160 members who are
working at the grassroots in almost every country of the world, reaching
out to the poor, vulnerable and excluded, regardless of race or
religion, to build a world based on justice and fraternal love.
founding of the first Caritas in Germany in 1897, to the setting up of
Caritas Internationalis in 1951, until today,
Caritas has a rich history
of listening respectfully to the suffering of the poor and giving them
the tools to transform their own lives.
The deep moral and spiritual
principles of dignity, justice, solidarity and stewardship still guide
Watch the ‘Syria: Peace is Possible’ video and download resources from the website http://syria.caritas.org.