Bishop Kemme Request for Day of Prayer for the Holy Land, October 17th, 2023

Dear Clergy, Religious and Lay Faithful,

The recent outbreak of violence between Hamas and Israel in the Holy Land has created yet another international crisis and weakens, once again, the fragile peace in that region. In response to this threat of war, and to support the political efforts that might bring stability, the Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem, Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, has requested that members of the Church and all people of goodwill offer a day of prayer next Tuesday, October 17.

In a statement issued on October 11, Cardinal Pizzaballa shared, “In this time of sorrow and dismay, we do not want to remain helpless. We cannot let death and its sting (1 Cor 15:55) be the only word we hear. That is why we feel the need to pray, to turn our hearts to God the Father. Only in this way we can draw the strength and serenity needed to endure these hard times, by turning to him, in prayer and intercession, to implore and cry out to God amidst this anguish.” He asked that times of prayer with Eucharistic adoration and recitation of the rosary be offered by Catholics on that day.

As Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, I join with Cardinal Pizzaballa’s request that, in our parishes, religious communities and homes, we pray for peace in the Holy Land on Tuesday, October 17. In addition to Eucharistic adoration and praying the rosary, I propose that we also fast and abstain. I invite each person to observe this optional day of prayer and penance as best fits with their ability. As members of the Body of Christ and of the human global family, may we all ask, seek and knock with persistence that God grant us the grace to engage in peaceful means to end conflicts between peoples and to live in harmony.

Humbly yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Carl A. Kemme. D.D.
Bishop of Wichita