USCCB: pray, fast for families suffering from illness
October 17, 2013
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is asking Catholics to pray, fast, and abstain from meat on Friday, October 18, “for members of our families and communities who suffer from illness, that the Lord would heal them and assure them of His presence.”
“Physical sickness is a reminder of our human frailty and mortality, and it can be hard to cope with,” notes a reflection published along with the announced intention. The USCCB calls attention to the feast day of St. Luke, the evangelist and physician, and suggests visiting relatives, neighbors, or friends who are ill.
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 campaign will last until the conclusion of the Year of Faith.
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.
- Call to Prayer Friday Fast: Intentions and Reflections (USCCB)
- Call to Prayer: Pledge to Fast (USCCB)