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Posted on Jul 29, 2014 |

St. Andrew Parish Prays for Peace

St. Andrew Parish Prays for Peace

Sunday's "Holy 59 Minutes" (just short of an hour) at St. Andrew parish, Milford, for peace in the Middle East.

Sunday’s “Holy 59 Minutes” (just short of an hour) at St. Andrew parish, Milford, for peace in the Middle East. Photos courtesy Fr. Rob Waller.

This guest post by Fr. Rob Waller originally ran as “Our Holy 59 Minutes” in his blog, With Open Doors. It is reproduced in full. St. Andrew the Apostle Church has a strong reciprocal relationship with a Palestinian parish in Beit Jala, outside of Bethelehem.

A holy hour is by tradition an hour of prayer, often in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament placed in a the monstrance on the altar.

This evening at St. Andrew there was a holy hour for peace in the Middle East. After the time of prayer, spoken and sung and silent, one attendee teasingly informed the deacon that the prayer was one minute short of the promised hour, so that technically, it was not a holy “hour.”

But holy it was!

We sang the chaplet of divine mercy, repeating over and over in a haunting and massaging melody,

“Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.”

“For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”

“Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”

Then we prayed a “litany of presence.”

Make your presence known, Lord,

to the people of Gaza
to the people of Israel
to the people of West Bank
to the people of Jordan

make your presence known, Lord,

to President Rivlin of Israel
to Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel
to President Abbas of Palestine

make your presence known, Lord,

to the people of Syria
to the people of Iraq
to the destructive forces in Syria and Iraq

make your presence known, Lord,

to Pope Francis
to Archbishop Fouad Twal of the Holy Land
to Bishop William Shomali of the Holy Land
to Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako of Iraq
to Father Jorge Hernandez of Gaza

make your presence known, Lord,

to the children in the Middle East who live in fear
to the children who are orphaned
to the children who are wounded
to the children living in refugee camps

make your presence known, Lord,

to all those who are wounded and have died in the conflicts
to all those who mourn for them
to the living and the dead lost in the rubble

make your presence known, Lord,

to the Salesian Sisters and Monks of the Cremisan
to the Salesian School Children
to the decision makers of the Cremisan Land

make your presence known, Lord,

to those who pray for peace in the Middle East

make your presence known, Lord.

A rainbow after St. Andrew's Holy Hour for Peace.

A rainbow after St. Andrew’s Holy Hour for Peace.

After the prayer a bow appeared in the sky, reminding us of God’s promise to Noah after the flood of destruction never to allow the earth to be destroyed again. God placed a bow in the sky to remind himself. This bow tonight, ever so faint,  helped us to remember, too.

Fr. Rob Waller is pastor of St. Andrew the Apostle Church in Milford (OH). He blogs at With Open Doors.

Tomorrow: Prayer for peace in area parishes.

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