The community is invited to a prayer service for persecuted Christians on Friday, Jan. 22 at St. Jude Maronite Parish, 5555 Dr. Phillips Boulevard, Orlando at 7 p.m. Churches from the following faith traditions will participate: Maronite Catholic Church, Ukranian Catholic Church, Byzantine Catholic Church, and Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, as well as the Catholic Roman Rite. Bishop John Noonan will lead the prayer service.
“Our Holy Father has encouraged all people to pray for those who continue to be persecuted in an effort to form greater solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Pope Francis asks each of us to embrace those who are persecuted with our prayers and remember their suffering during the week of Prayer for Christian Unity,” said Deborah Stafford Shearer, Director of Diocese of Orlando Office of Advocacy and Justice.
Pope Francis reminds all Christians that although there are differences in faith or in traditions, those differences shouldn’t outweigh the respect and patience we should have for one another.
“In order to understand each other and grow in love and truth we have to stop, welcome and listen to each other,” said Pope Francis at the closing of last year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. “We need each other, to come together and face each other under the guidance of the Holy Spirit who harmonizes diversity and overcomes conflicts.”