Pray and hope. This was the message delivered by Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki during the Mass for Peace in the Holy Land, which took place on Sunday, October 15th at the Franciscan Monastery. The bishop, a member of the Franciscan Foundation for Holy Land based in New York, led the Mass, which the Franciscan Monastery’s friars organized to address the tragic situation affecting Israel and Gaza.
The appeal of the Washington, D.C. Franciscan friars living in this “corner of the Holy Land” did not go unnoticed. Many faithful individuals joined the special Mass to offer prayers and intentions for peace. In addition to the significant number of attendees, religious communities, as well as representatives of the Knights and Dames of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, and of the Knights of Colombus, also joined.
Bishop Paprocki’s homily emphasized the need to pause, pray, and hope for a peaceful resolution to the current conflict, which is harming the Holy Land, its inhabitants, and all who cherish the land of Jesus. Paprocki is the Bishop of Springfield, Illinois.
Worth noting was the lighting of the Easter candle after the Eucharistic liturgy as a symbol of life prevailing over death and as a visible sign of Christ’s light illuminating the world.
At the end of the Mass, Fr. David Grenier, OFM, Commissary of the Holy Land in America, greeted the attendees and thanked them for joining in praying for peace, quoting the words of the Apostle Paul from the day’s second reading: “[I]t was kind of you to share in my distress” (Philippians 4:14).
Filippo De Grazia