Indian Church to pray for nation on October 16

October 5, 2016 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

New Delhi, October 4, 2016: The Catholic Church in India will observe October 16, Sunday, as a day of prayer for the country.

This was announced by Cardinal Baselios Cleemis, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) on October 4, when the Church celebrates the feast of St Francis of Assisi, “the messenger of peace and ecological harmony.”

The head of the Indian Church wants all bishops, parish priests, religious and lay leaders to conduct special liturgies and prayers for the nation on that day.

The cardinal has invited all Indians to join the Catholics to pray for India. “May every place of worship chime with prayers for our beloved nation, its leaders and its people,” says a letter from the prelate, who also heads the Syro-Malankara Church, one of the two Oriental Catholic rites in India.

The cardinal’s invitation comes two days after India observed the 147th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, who is considered the modern apostle of peace.

Cardinal Cleemis points out that various religions in the country are celebrating their festivals in October.

On October 11, Hindus, the predominant religious group in India, will celebrate Dussehra, which symbolizes victory of good over evil. Muharram, a day of special significance for Muslims, the largest religious minority in the country, falls on October 12.

Sikhs will remember the birth of Guru Granth, their holy book, on October 20. Indians, cutting across religions, will celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights, on October 30.

The call to observe October 16 as a day of prayer first came from a New Delhi-based Catholic archbishop, who wanted India’s political leaders to ignore calls for retaliatory military action against Pakistan that has been blamed for several terrorist attacks in the country.

“We should not entertain even the thoughts of revenge,” Archbishop Kuriakose Bharanikulangara of Faridabad told a press conference in New Delhi on September 27.

The prelate, a former Vatican diplomat, called all to pray for peace on the border and those affected by terrorism exported from across the border. He also announced that his diocese would observe October 16 as a day of prayer for peace.

Archbishop Bharanikulangara’s appeal for restraint came hours before India conducted “surgical strikes” at alleged terrorist camps in Pakistan occupied Kashmir region.

CBCI is the national body of Catholic bishops of Latin, Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara rites.

– matters india

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