Delhi archdiocese to launch prayer campaign for nation
By Jose Kavi
New Delhi: The Archdiocese of Delhi will launch a prayer and fast campaign for India and its leaders as the country gets closer to general elections.
“We are witnessing a turbulent political atmosphere which poses a threat to the democratic principles enshrined in our Constitution and the secular fabric of our nation,” says a letter from Archbishop Anil Couto of Delhi addressed to all parish priests and religious institutions in the archdiocese.
The letter dated May 8 is to be read during Masses throughout the archdiocese on Sunday, May 13.
Archbishop Couto says praying for the country and it political leaders all the time has been a “hallowed practice” of the archdiocese. It is all the more necessary “when we approach the General Elections,” the prelate adds.
The current coalition government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party will complete its five-year term in May 2019.
“As we look forward towards 2019 when we will have a new government let us begin a prayer campaign for our country from May 13, the anniversary of the Apparition of the Blessed Mother,” the archbishop appeals to his people. He wants them to consecrate themselves and the country to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The campaign comprises observing a day fast and conducting an hour of adoration on every Friday for a year. The letter urges the faithful to forgo one meal on Fridays and offer penance and sacrifices for “our spiritual renewal and that of our nation.”
The archbishop has also prepared a prayer for the nation to be recited during the adoration.
The prayer seeks God’s grace to always uphold in highest esteem “the dreams of our founding fathers and the values of our Constitution – equality, liberty and fraternity.”
It wants people all castes and creeds, all denominations and persuasions to live in harmony and peace steering away from hatred and violence.
“Protect our legislatures as places of discerning minds. Raise our judiciary as the hallmark of integrity, prudence and justice. Keep our print, visual and social media as the channels of truth for edifying discourse. Protect our institutions from the infiltration of the evil forces.”
The prayer also seeks livelihood for the poor and empowerment of dalit, tribal and marginalized communities to enter mainstream nation building.