Bishop Tylka calls diocese’s faithful to prayer March 25 for peace in Ukraine

Bishop Louis Tylka has encouraged the faithful in the Diocese of Peoria to specially pray for peace in Ukraine through the intercession of Mary on March 16. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

As the invasion of Ukraine by Russia continues to devastate that nation and “shock and frighten the world,” Bishop Louis Tylka has encouraged the faithful of the Diocese of Peoria to join Pope Francis in offering prayers for God’s mercy and peace through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Friday, March 25.

Pope Francis will consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary during a penitential prayer service in St. Peter’s Basilica on March 25, the Solemnity of the Annunciation of Our Lord. The same act of consecration will be offered at the Marian Shrine in Fatima, Portugal, that day by Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner.

In a March 16 letter to pastors and Catholic schools principals, Bishop Tylka urged Catholics in the Diocese of Peoria to “share in this consecration by offering prayers on March 25.”

“I urge our parishes and schools to intentionally unite in a time of prayer imploring God’s mercy through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary to bring about an end to this conflict,” wrote Bishop Tylka. He noted that for nearly a month, “the world has watched in horror the devastating effects of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia” and called the war “unjust and unnecessary.”

Bishop Tylka suggested that Catholics in schools and parishes come together to pray the rosary on March 25 and perhaps have Masses offered for the intention of peace. He also suggested praying a prayer that Pope Francis recited March 16 for an end to the war in Ukraine, and included a copy of that prayer with his letter.

“This war must cease!” wrote Bishop Tylka. “May the God of Peace come to our aid.”

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