In light of recent incidents of violence and racial tension in communities across the United States, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops invited all dioceses throughout the country to unite in a Day of Prayer for Peace in Our Communities and appointed a special task force to support bishops in marking that Day of Prayer and promoting peace and healing. The Day of Prayer for Peace in Our Communities was celebrated on the Feast of St. Peter Claver, September 9, 2016.
In response to this call for a national Day of Prayer for Peace in Our Communities, the Diocese of Burlington hosted an evening prayer vigil for peace at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. The cathedral doors were open to the community, and all were invited to enter at will, light a candle, offer an intention, and join together in prayer for peace.
For an end to the violence perpetrated by harsh words, deadly weapons, or cold indifference. May our homes, our nation, and countries around the world become havens of peace, let us pray to the Lord.
For the grace to see every human being as a child of God, regardless of race, language or culture, let us pray to the Lord.
For the wisdom to receive the stories and experiences of those different from ourselves and to respond with respect, let us pray to the Lord.
For the strength to teach our children how to resolve differences non-violently and respectfully, and the courage to model it in our own behavior, let us pray to the Lord.
For our faith community, that we may celebrate and welcome the diverse faces of Christ in our worship, our ministries, and our leaders, let us pray to the Lord.
For our faith community, that we may respond boldly to the Holy Spirit's call to act together to end violence and racism, let us pray to the Lord.
For healing and justice for all those who have experienced violence and racism, let us pray to the Lord.
For the protection of all police and first responders who risk their lives daily to ensure our safety; for fair and just policing that will promote peace and wellbeing in all our neighborhoods, let us pray to the Lord.
For our public officials, that they will strive to work for fair education, adequate housing, and equal opportunities for employment for all, let us pray to the Lord.
For our parish, that we may cultivate welcome, extend hospitality, and encourage the participation of people of all cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds, let us pray to the Lord.
For the courage to have difficult conversations about racism, and for a better appreciation of how our words and actions – or even our silence – can impact our communities, let us pray to the Lord.
For solidarity in our global human family, that we may work together to protect those who are most vulnerable and most in need, let us pray to the Lord.