Pastoral Letter of Bishop Nulty: Praying for Peace

Published on March 7, 2022

I echo the call of Pope Francis for prayer and fasting this Ash Wednesday to end the war in Ukraine. In times of trouble we call on the tender mercy of God “to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Lk.1:79)

But it’s not enough to pray just for one day. It’s not enough to be repulsed by the media coverage and then turn away – to turn over the page, to swipe the phone, to switch the channel. It’s not enough to impose sanctions and take measures that are slower to take effect. All of us need to do all within our power to stop the violence.

So what might we do? I suggest we light a candle in our churches for every day during the season of Lent. A candle that reminds us light always overcomes darkness, and especially the darkness of war. War is the path of no return. A candle that reminds the people of Ukraine they are not forgotten, they are in our thoughts.

Secondly, we pause at the Sign of Peace, a sign we understandably suspended during the pandemic, while not yet restoring the sign, let’s take a moment of pause and reflection for the cause of peace and how we can all contribute to being peacemakers in today’s world.

Thirdly I invite this prayer for peace in Ukraine to be prayed at every Mass during Lent:

Loving God,
We pray for the people of Ukraine,
for all those suffering or afraid,
that you will be close to them and protect them.

We pray for world leaders,
for compassion, strength and wisdom to guide their choices.

We pray for the world
that in this moment of crisis,
we may reach out in solidarity
to our brothers and sisters in need.