As virus spreads, pope, bishop invite Christians to pray together

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Pope Francis 20-03-24s

Pope Francis gives his homily during his livestreamed Mass March 24, 2020, from the chapel of his Vatican residence, the Domus Sanctae Marthae. At the beginning of the Mass, the pope offered special prayers for priests, doctors and nurses who had contracted the coronavirus while caring for the sick. Pope Francis and Bishop R. Walker Nickless of the Sioux City Diocese invite all Christians to pray together at noon Wednesday.

Through the direction of Pope Francis, Bishop Walker Nickless of the Sioux City Diocese invites all Christians to pray at noon on March 25.

This day is significant as it marks the day when many Christians commemorate the annunciation of the angel Gabriel to Mary with the announcement that she would be the mother of the Son of God.

“I invite all the heads of churches and the leaders of all the Christian communities, together with all the Christians of the various confessions, to invoke the Most High, Almighty God, reciting contemporaneously the prayer that Jesus Our Lord taught us,” Pope Francis said. “I invite all, therefore, to do so several times a day, but, all together, to recite the Our Father next Wednesday, March 25, at midday — all together.”

Nickless said he is hopeful all Christians will join in prayer tomorrow at noon, as well as in continuous prayer as the world deals with a coronavirus outbreak.

During this critical time of spread of the COVID-19, the Diocese of Sioux City has created a webpage here with several resources for parishioners, pastors and anyone who will find the information useful. Many of the online Masses being offered throughout the diocese are listed, as well as other resources for prayer, and messages in English and Spanish from Nickless.

The mandates issued by Nickless also are available on the website in English and Spanish. The page will be updated periodically in this rapidly changing environment.

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