Pope Francis’ makes an invitation –echoing the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem’s invitation– to a day of fasting and prayer Tuesday 10/17. We are gathering for prayer at 6pm.

What is asked of us?

Dear brothers and sisters!

I continue to follow with great sorrow what is happening in Israel and Palestine. I think again of the many… in particular of the children and the elderly. I renew my appeal for the freeing of the hostages and I strongly ask that children, the sick, the elderly, women, and all civilians not be made victims of the conflict. Humanitarian law is to be respected, especially in Gaza, where it is urgent and necessary to ensure humanitarian corridors and to come to the aid of the entire population. Brothers and sisters, already many have died. Please, let no more innocent blood be shed, neither in the Holy Land nor in Ukraine, nor in any other place! Enough! Wars are always a defeat, always!

Prayer is the meek and holy force to oppose the diabolical force of hatred, terrorism and war. I invite all believers to join with the Church in the Holy Land and to dedicate next Tuesday, 17 October, to prayer and fasting.

Let’s respond to the Pope’s cry with a work to understand if in our personal experience of prayer and fasting we find an adequate response to the terrible violence recently unleashed in our world impacting our lives.

There are colleagues and friends waiting for a word of hope and peace around us. Let’s offer moments of prayer in our parishes, schools and communities as a means of sharing in our common humanity affected by the recent violence and hatred.