By Lisa Zengarini
The Church in Brazil will be celebrating a special day of prayer for mission and peace in Haiti on 1 May.
The event is organized by the Bishops’ Conference Pastoral Commission for Mission and Inter-ecclesial Cooperation, together with Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), the pontifical foundation supporting persecuted Christians in world.
Ongoing political and social unrest
The Carribean country hasn’t yet recovered from the devastating earthquake of 2010 and Hurricane Matthew of 2016, which have further increased poverty amongst Haitians.
The harsh economic situation has made Haitians even more vulnerable, amidst political unrest, growing insecurity and surging kidnappings, including the abduction of seven clergy members early in April.
“We live in constant fear, wondering who will be next,” Bishop Jean Désinord of Hinche diocese told ACN in a recent interview.
Brazilian Catholics invited to pray for Church's mission
The special prayer event for Haiti is part of a wider initiative organized by the Brazilian Bishops’ Conference (CNBB), in which the faithful are invited to pray for the mission of the Church in a given country on the first day of each month, in memory of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, patron of missions.
Prayer as a “missionary action”
During this day, they can either recite the Rosary or the Litany of the Saints, make a spiritual offering or pray for a specific intention.
According to Daniel Rocchetti, a member of the Pastoral Commission, the aim of the initiative is to emphasize the meaning of prayer as a “missionary action.”
“Praying for the mission of the Church is part of what it means to be a missionary,” he explains.
The first day of prayer was held on April 1 and was dedicated to Myanmar.