Dear Reverend Fathers, Seminarians, Religious Brothers and Sisters, Brothers and sisters in Christ,
Pope Francis has called for a Day of Fasting and Prayer for peace in Syria, the Middle East and the world. This will be held on September 7, 2013, the vigil of the birth of Mary, Queen of Peace.
“Peace” as the Holy Father first enlightens, “is a precious gift, which must be promoted and protected. ” He also reminds us of our responsibility in promoting peace, as he exhorts, “all men and women of good will, are bound by the task of pursuing peace. Never has the use of violence brought peace in its wake. War begets war, violence begets violence. “
We share therefore, in the pain and grief of all Syrians, in having their country and lives torn apart, homes and loved ones lost. Hence, as part of the universal church, in solidarity with the Holy Father and all Catholics, let us pray fervently for a smooth negotiation and peaceful resolution to the conflict in Syria; not by revenge and forced compliance, through weapons and bloodshed but by way of open dialogue, negotiation and collaboration.
I encourage all parishes to support the Holy Father’s call, by coming together as a community, to pray and intercede for peace. As it is too late to organise this at the Archdiocesan level, I leave these initiatives to each parish and all Catholics. I will be attending the Vocation Day of Prayer at the Church of St Francis of Assisi, at 430 pm and will be praying for peace in Syria at this time. All are invited to come and pray with me for priestly and religious vocations; and peace in Syria and in the world.
Let us heed the words of Christ – “Blessed are the peacemakers, they shall be called Sons of God.” May our Blessed Mother, Queen of Peace, lead us in this intercession. Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.
Most Rev Msgr Wiliiam Goh, DO., STL
Archbishop of Singapore
4 September, 2013