Catholic Bishops Seek Divine Intervention Amid Insecurity, Declare 40-Day Fast

The bishops of the Catholic Archdiocese of the Ecclesiastical Province of Onitsha have issued a 40-day fast and prayers to its faithful for God’s intervention in the worsening insecurity and bloodshed in the south- East.

Clerics, in a letter titled “A Call to Prayer from the Catholic Bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province of Onitsha to Priests, Religious, Lay Faithful and All People of Good Will” read Sunday in all local churches, said prayers have become important and urgent. , because the forces of darkness and death seem to have cast their shadow over the southeastern part of Nigeria.

The letter was signed by the Archbishop of Onitsha and Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Onitsha, Bishop Valeria Okeke, on behalf of the Bishops.

The letter read in part: “For some time now, the Southeastern Jurisdiction, which God has entrusted to our pastoral care, has become the scene of unholy and wanton destruction of life and property. The forces of darkness and death seem to have cast their shadow over the southeastern part of our country. It is not part of our history or who we are as a people.

“In the midst of these tragedies, many people are tempted to lose faith in God and hope in man. It is against this widespread discouragement that we, the Archbishop and Bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province of Onitsha, send you this message of hope and call for prayer, especially in this holy season of Lent.

“We are indeed convinced that those who place their trust in the Lord can never be disappointed. We therefore invite our beloved Christian faithful and all men and women of good will to take advantage of this holy season of Lent to pray for the following major intentions: for security and peace in South East Nigeria; may God bring about a change of heart in murderers and cause them to realize once again the sanctity of human life.

“That justice and equity will reign in Nigeria. In this sense, we ask God to give the Federal Government of Nigeria and some of our own political leaders the courage and honesty to discuss the challenges facing the South Eastern region which are part of the causes of the unrest and youth violence in our area. .

“We therefore urge and call on all Christian faithful to engage in the following prayer actions: prayers for peace and security are now declared in all dioceses of our Province to begin on Ash Wednesday, March 2, 2022; the prayers will last 40 days (from Ash Wednesday March 2 to Palm Sunday April 10, 2022

“There will be a fast for everyone on Ash Wednesday and every Friday during Lent. We suggest that people do not eat before noon on these days (the dates are March 2, 4, 11, 18, 25, April 1 and 8).

In addition to the general fast days listed, members were also asked to fast every Tuesday during the Lenten period, including Holy Week.

“Since we are the bridges between God and his people, we are called to lead our people by the example of faith and prayer,” the statement added.

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