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U.S. Bishops' Anti-Racism Committee Chair
Lifts Up National Day of Prayer

WASHINGTON Sept. 1 —Bishop George V. Murry, SJ, of the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, called on Catholics and all people of faith to observe an annual Day of Prayer for Peace in Our Communities on September 9, the Feast of St. Peter Claver.

"St. Peter Claver is a model for us in understanding that hard work and perseverance is required to combat the sin of racism and build community; we must begin and end this effort in prayer together, even as we seek to act in concrete ways," Bishop Murry continued.

"To help dioceses, parishes and other places of worship, communities, and families observe this National Day of Prayer, the Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism and USCCB staff offer pastoral and prayer resources which can be found at www.usccb.org/racism."

The Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism was formed by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, after the recent shocking events in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Bishop Murry was appointed as the Ad Hoc Committee's first chairman. The Committee will focus on addressing the sin of racism in our society, and even in our Church, as well as the urgent need to come together to find solutions.

"Last year, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, then-President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, called for a day of prayer for peace in our communities at a time of intense strife over police-related shootings," said Bishop Murry. 

Day of Prayer Card"Archbishop Kurtz also formed a Task Force that, among other things, recommended that the National Day of Prayer become an annual observance. As the Chairman of the newly-formed Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, it is my honor to continue this call for prayer, and to do so every year on this feast." 

St. Peter Claver (1580-1654) was a Spanish-born Jesuit priest who dedicated his life to ministering to people enslaved by the African slave trade.  He worked tirelessly to improve the lives of those he served, and heroically sought an abolition of the slave trade.

"Resources for this day, including a Prayer Card, Prayers of the Faithful, bishops’ statements, teaching resources, and stories of how faith communities around the country are working for racial justice are available at www.usccb.org/racism."


Media Contact: Judy Keane • 202-541-3200



September 9, 2017
National Day of Prayer

Prayer of the Faithful for the Day of Prayer for Peace in Our Communities

For an end to the violence perpetrated by harsh words, deadly weapons, or cold indifference. May our homes, our nation, and countries around the world become havens of peace, let us pray to the Lord.

For the grace to see every human being as a child of God, regardless of race, language or culture, let us pray to the Lord.

For the wisdom to receive the stories and experiences of those different from ourselves and to respond with respect, let us pray to the Lord.

For the strength to teach our children how to resolve differences non-violently and respectfully, and the courage to model it in our own behavior, let us pray to the Lord.

For our faith community, that we may celebrate and welcome the diverse faces of Christ in our worship, our ministries, and our leaders, let us pray to the Lord.

For our faith community, that we may respond boldly to the Holy Spirit's call to act together to end violence and racism, let us pray to the Lord.

For healing and justice for all those who have experienced violence and racism, let us pray to the Lord.

For the protection of all police and first responders who risk their lives daily to ensure our safety; for fair and just policing that will promote peace and wellbeing in all our neighborhoods, let us pray to the Lord.

For our public officials, that they will strive to work for fair education, adequate housing, and equal opportunities for employment for all, let us pray to the Lord.

For our parish, that we may cultivate welcome, extend hospitality, and encourage the participation of people of all cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds, let us pray to the Lord.

For the courage to have difficult conversations about racism, and for a better appreciation of how our words and actions – or even our silence – can impact our communities, let us pray to the Lord.

For solidarity in our global human family, that we may work together to protect those who are most vulnerable and most in need, let us pray to the Lord.