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Pope, Bishop of Erie Diocese: Do what you can do, pray

Calling on the “Christian community” to “intercede on behalf of each other,” the Pope and the Bishop of the Erie Diocese are calling for prayer.

Social distancing limits have resulted in the closure of churches, but Pope Francis and Bishop Lawrence Persico are calling on people to do what they can to help respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In union with the Holy Father Pope Francis, the Most Rev. Lawrence T. Persico, bishop of Erie, has called for a day of prayer on Wednesday, March 25 – the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord,” according to a release from the diocese. “The day includes an invitation for brothers and sisters of all Christian denominations to offer the Lord’s Prayer at noon.”

“The bishop is asking people to set aside time to pray for all those affected by the pandemic, including government leaders, researchers, healthcare workers, the sick, our communities, those suffering financial hardship, and those who have died, as well as their families,” according to the release.

“As a Christian community, we must intercede on behalf of each other,” Persico said.

“To that end, he also is inviting all Christians to participate in the ecumenical invitation issued by Pope Francis to offer the Our Father (the Lord’s Prayer) in unison on March 25 at noon.”

Persico’s leading of the prayer will be livestreamed through the diocese’s Facebook page – www.facebook.com/eriercd/- and website — www.eriercd.org/livestream.html. Following the Lord’s Prayer, Persico will lead a rosary.”

“The actions and prayers of Pope Francis have been exemplary during this time,” Persico said. “He has said that we want to respond to the pandemic ‘with the universality of prayer, compassion and tenderness.'”

“The Annunciation is a Marian feast during which the Catholic Church commemorates the moment when the Blessed Virgin Mary agreed to become the mother of Jesus Christ, the Son of God,” according to the release. “A litany, a special prayer that can be prayed individually or shared by those gathered in a home, will be posted at www.ErieRCD.org/inspiration.html. The Diocese of Erie continues to update resources for prayer helpful during the pandemic at www.ErieRCD.org/inspiration.html.”

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