Photo: Christians who had fled the unrest in Syria and Iraq carry placards and wave flags during a gathering in front the U.N. house in Beirut Feb. 28. (CNS photo/Nabil Mounzer, EPA)
In a recent letter entitled Commitment to Peace, Bishop William Murphy called upon Catholics in the Diocese of Rockville Centre to be instruments of the peace of Jesus Christ. He invited, “one and all without exception, to accept the responsibility and to commit ourselves to daily prayer for peace.” In addition to prayer, he authorized a special collection to be taken at each of the 133 parishes across Long Island the weekend of August 1-2, 2015 to assist those who are suffering religious persecution in Syria and Iraq and wherever needed.
Bishop Murphy urges all Catholics to, “reach out and protect these victims who are suffering, who are so often the targets of violence and murder, along with other ethnic and religious minorities.”
Bishop Murphy said: “But let us be the instruments to stir up on the hearts of our people a renewed commitment to peace, calling them to be peacemakers by being men and women of prayer, men and women who call on Mary and the saints to be our protagonists, and add their pleas to ours that the God of mercy who sent his son to bring peace into the world, may change hearts, enflame lives so that violence, bloodshed and murder may end and the world may know true peace, which is a gift from God for all humankind.”
To contribute to the Diocese of Rockville Centre’s Special Collection to help persecuted Christians, parishioners are asked to contact their local parish or they can send donations to the Chancellor’s Office, Diocese of Rockville Centre, P.O. Box 9023, Rockville Centre, NY 11571-9023. Checks should be made out to the Diocese of Rockville Centre. “Persecuted Christians” should be marked on the memo section of the check. For more information call 516-678-5800, ext. 583 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.