Below is the letter from Fr. David Ciancimino, S.J., Provincial of the New York Province, to the Jesuits of the Province encouraging participation in the day of prayer and fasting for peace called by Pope Francis.
Dear Brothers and Friends in the Lord,
Peace of Christ.
With the mounting violence in Syria and threats to peace in many parts of the world, Pope Francis has called for a day of prayer and fasting for peace this Saturday, September 7. I encourage you to participate in this worldwide gesture of solidarity.
Below is an excerpt from the Holy Father’s Angelus appeal:
|“…All men and women of good will are bound by the task of pursuing peace. I make a forceful and urgent call to the entire Catholic Church, and also to every Christian of other confessions, as well as to followers of every religion and to those brothers and sisters who do not believe: peace is a good which overcomes every barrier, because it belongs all of humanity!
I repeat forcefully: it is neither a culture of confrontation nor a culture of conflict which builds harmony within and between peoples, but rather a culture of encounter and a culture of dialogue; this is the only way to peace. May the plea for peace rise up and touch the heart of everyone so that they may lay down their weapons and be let themselves be led by the desire for peace.
To this end, brothers and sisters, I have decided to proclaim for the whole Church on 7 September next, the vigil of the birth of Mary, Queen of Peace, a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, the Middle East, and throughout the world, and I also invite each person, including our fellow Christians, followers of other religions and all men of good will, to participate, in whatever way they can, in this initiative. On 7 September, in Saint Peter’s Square, here…, we will gather in prayer and in a spirit of penance, invoking God’s great gift of peace upon the beloved nation of Syria and upon each situation of conflict and violence around the world. Humanity needs to see these gestures of peace and to hear words of hope and peace! I ask all the local churches, in addition to fasting, that they gather to pray for this intention.
Let us ask Mary to help us to respond to violence, to conflict and to war, with the power of dialogue, reconciliation and love. She is our mother: may she help us to find peace; all of us are her children! Help us, Mary, to overcome this most difficult moment and to dedicate ourselves each day to building in every situation an authentic culture of encounter and peace. Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us!…” – Pope Francis
From our earliest days, one of the principal works of the Society of Jesus has been that of reconciliation. With that in mind, I ask that we all join Pope Francis in his prayer for peace.
Gratefully in our Lord,
Fr. David S. Ciancimino, S.J.