A prominent Roman Catholic leader in Oklahoma is asking Catholics to pray and fast for peace in Syria, the Middle East and throughout the world on Saturday.
The Most Rev. Paul S. Coakley, archbishop of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, said the call for prayer is in conjunction with Pope Francis' designation of Saturday as an international day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria.
“The recent chemical weapons attack in Syria was an especially shocking and painful reminder of the present unfathomable suffering of the people of that troubled region,” Coakley said in a news release.
“Through our prayers and especially through our fasting, which reminds us of our utter dependence on God for the gift of peace and places us in solidarity with the people of Syria, we hope to offer some measure of spiritual consolation and encouragement to those who begin to fear their hopes for peace are in vain.”
Archdiocesan priests are encouraging Catholics across the archdiocese to consider the noon emergency sirens as a reminder to prayer for peace and an opportunity to recite the words of a prayer for peace in Syria available on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop's website at www.usccb.org.
Several parishes in the archdiocese will host prayer events focusing on peace in Syria:
St. Andrew's Catholic Church in Moore will hold a public rosary at 12:15 p.m. and a Mass for peace in Syria at 5 p.m. Saturday at 800 NW 5.
St. Francis Xavier parish in Enid, 110 N Madison, will hold a prayer vigil from 7 to 8 p.m. Saturday.