The Catholic Bishops of New Zealand invite all New Zealand Catholics to join them and others around the world to pray with Pope Francis as he dedicates Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The bishops of New Zealand are asking Catholics to offer special prayers for all those involved in the war in Ukraine by going to their local parish church on Friday to pray the Rosary.
Bishop Stephen Lowe, Bishop of Auckland and secretary of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of New Zealand, says attending church next Friday for the Rosary will be a show of solidarity with all those involved in the war in Ukraine.
“People all over Ukraine are forced to leave their homes because of the war.
“Leaving our homes here in Aatearoa New Zealand to go to our local church to pray on this special day would be a show of solidarity with the people who should leave their homes in Ukraine.
“Usually we hold Mass or advertise the time of the Rosary, but given the current Covid-19 restrictions, which impose a limit of 100 people, we hope people will attend their local church during the day.
“Bishops will also head to their cathedrals to pray the Rosary on Friday in support of Pope Francis.
“It’s important to leave your homes on Friday to visit a local church at a time convenient to you. We will ask that all churches be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., so that as many people as possible can visit at different times during the day, within the limits of Covid-19. ”
Lowe says prayers will be offered for all: those who have been wounded or killed; people caring for the wounded; refugees and those who care for them.
“And we will pray that the Russian leadership and the military change their minds.”
Lowe says during Lent, about change, conversion of heart: “Christ calls us to love our enemies and to embrace one another as brothers and sisters.
“And when we pray for Ukraine, we also remember those who have been involved in other conflicts, including Yemen, Syria, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Libya and others.”
Acting as the universal pastor of the Church, Francis restores the consecration called for in Fatima more than 100 years ago.
A true consecration prayer will take place in St. Peter’s Cathedral around 6:30 p.m., March 25 (Roman time); Feast of the Annunciation.
To watch the entire ceremony, international media recommends setting the alarm for 5:00 a.m. on Saturday 26 (New Zealand time) or tune in around 6:30 a.m. Saturday to watch Pope Francis read the prayer of sanctification.
News category: New Zealand.