St. Francis Hosts Interfaith Peace Prayer
On Tuesday, October 4, 2011, the feast day of its patron saint, the Parish of St. Francis of Assisi welcomed members of all faiths to a prayer vigil for world peace. The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Raleigh, represented the Diocese of Raleigh and was joined by representatives from Catholic and other Triangle Churches and religious communities, including:
- Rev. Nancy Petty, Pullen Memorial Baptist Church
- Jihad Shawwa, Triangle Interfaith Alliance
- Most. Reverend Alfred Gwinn, Jr., Bishop of the North Carolina Council of the United Methodist Church
- Brother Fiaz Fareed, Chairman of the Islamic Association of Raleigh
- Kate Shiring, Parishioner, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church
- Reverend WonGong So, Head Priest of the Won Buddhist Temple, Chapel Hill, NC
- Duane Beck, Pastor, Raleigh Mennonite Church
- Reverend David Guthrie, President of the Southern Provincial Elders’ Conference of the Moravian Church of North America
- Theresa Rosenberg, Temple Beth Or
- Jack Thatcher, Baha’I Unity Center
- Reverend Farunissa Rosa, Rose Heart Sufi Community, Durham, NC
- Abdullah Antepli, Campus Minister to the Muslim Community, Duke University
Father Mark Reamer, OFM, Pastor of St. Francis, welcomed those in attendance. “Twenty-five years ago,” he said, “Pope John Paul II invited leaders of the world’s major religions to join him in Assisi so that a single song of peace might be offered up to God. Seventy of those leaders accepted his invitation. They provided witness that the desire for peace is shared by all people of good will. Tonight we renew that prayer for peace.”
The welcome was followed by readings and songs from various faith traditions. Representatives of different faiths then shared commitments to peace among individuals, religions and nations. Bishop Burbidge led the Concluding Prayer.
“I was inspired and heartened by the presence of the representatives of so many different faith communities at this vigil,” the Bishop said. “Our beloved Pope John Paul’s invitation to pray for peace in our troubled world is just as compelling, if not more so, than it was 25 years ago. I urge the faithful in our Diocese to join in solidarity with all our brothers and sisters in asking God to help us become effective instruments of His peace.”
Above: Religious leaders from Triangle area churches and religious organizations attending the Interfaith Peace Prayer held at St. Francis the Assisi Church in Raleigh.
Below: Gathering representing faith communities in the Triangle area attending prayer service on the Feast of St. Francis.