Cardinal DiNardo shares opportunities for common prayer in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
March 26, 2020
A message from Daniel Cardinal DiNardo:
While the hardships and precautionary restrictions placed upon the public during the COVID-19 pandemic have been burdensome and a source of sorrow for many, especially those who feel separated from communities of faith and places of spiritual refuge, a beautiful side effect has been the creative outpouring of opportunities for people of faith to spiritually join together to confront the current situation.
Yesterday, on the Solemnity of the Annunciation, the Holy Father asked Catholics to join with him in the praying of the Our Father at noon. I had the opportunity to share in this prayer with the people of Galveston-Houston via livestream. The recording of the video is still online for those who wish to access it, along with the daily spiritual reflections being offered by our clergy.
In this update, I would like to share two more opportunities for common prayer.
The first opportunity comes from Pope Francis.
Tomorrow, Friday, March 27, 2020 at 12 p.m. CDT (6 p.m. local time in Rome), the Holy Father will impart an extraordinary Urbi et Orbi blessing on all of those tuning in worldwide. The Urbi et Orbi blessing (meaning “to the city [of Rome] and to the world”) is traditionally offered each year in St. Peter’s Square on Christmas and Easter or in extraordinary fashion following the election of a new pope. Those who take part in the blessing (in person, by television, radio, or internet), and express sorrow for their sins and promise to go to confession and receive the Eucharist as soon as they are able are offered the opportunity for a plenary indulgence. At this time it remains undetermined what television networks might be broadcasting the blessing, but at a minimum, the Holy Father’s address and blessing to the world will be accessible by livestream at www.vaticannews.va. All of the faithful who are able to tune in are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity for prayer with the whole Church.
The second opportunity is one that is more local and ecumenical.
In conversation with local religious leaders of different traditions, I have given my support to a city-wide Moment of Prayer and Reflection in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. On Monday, March 30, 2020 from 12 p.m. to 12:05 p.m. CDT, all people of faith and goodwill are asked to pause wherever they are and pray according to their own faith tradition. We will unite our prayers for the intentions of an end to the pandemic, for the healing of those who are sick, for those who have died, and for strength and wisdom for our medical personnel and government leaders. This effort is being organized by Pastor Harvey Clemons of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church with the assistance of Interfaith Ministries (www.imgh.org).
May we all remain committed to solidarity in prayer together during this time of difficulty and distress. As our Lenten pilgrimage continues, we persevere in offering our prayer, our fasting, and our charity that we may grow together in holiness and union with our Lord Jesus and that He may truly reign in us.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Daniel Cardinal DiNardo
Archbishop of Galveston-Houston