US bishops ask Friday prayers, fasting for Christian minorities in Syria, Egypt
September 19, 2013
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is asking Catholics to pray, fast, and abstain from meat on Friday, September 20 “for Christians and other minorities in Syria, Egypt, and throughout the world—that they would be protected from violence and persecution.”
The US bishops have called the faithful to fasting and prayer each Friday during the Year of Faith. In a reflection that accompanies the announcement of this week’s intention, the USCCB cites a passage from Lumen Gentium that refers to the faithful as “pilgrims in a strange land.” The reflecton concludes: “Let us remember that we are pilgrims on a journey to reach our ultimate fulfillment in Christ.”
In December 2012, the US bishops announced a call to prayer and penance whose “overall focus is to invite Catholics to pray for rebuilding a culture favorable to life and marriage and for increased protections of religious liberty. Campaign components include monthly Eucharistic holy hours in cathedrals and parishes, daily family rosary, special Prayers of the Faithful at all Masses, fasting and abstinence on Fridays, and the second observance of a Fortnight for Freedom.”
The Friday prayer and fasting intentions change weekly; the links below describe how to receive the intentions in advance, typically on the afternoon of the previous day.