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101 Days of Prayer for Peace

Background

Background to the Initiative:

 

101 Days of Prayer for a Peaceful Referendum

 

Background to the Initiative:

The upcoming referendum vote for unity or secession in Southern Sudan will be a new moment in the history of Sudan.  Voting will take place on January 9, 2011.  As the country moves towards the referendum, we can anticipate a time of increased anxiety as the people of Southern Sudan prepare to make this enormously important decision. Campaigns have begun, organizations are being mobilized, the Referendum Committee has been formed and many different opinions are being expressed on newspapers, TV and national and local radio.

Differing opinions and spirited discussions of controversial topics are always very healthy in any society as long as such exchanges are held in a peaceful manner.  However as a post-conflict country with a long history of war, Sudan’s familiarity with peace is relatively limited.

Description of the Project

Each year September 21 is celebrated worldwide as the UN International Day of Peace and similar celebrations take place on January 1 - the World Day of Peace celebrated by the Catholic Church. Sr. Cathy Arata SSND, Director of Solidarity with Southern Sudan’s Pastoral Services noted that the time span between those two important dates is exactly 101 days. She approached both Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SCBC) to propose that this period of time should be dedicated to a campaign of prayer and activities for peace for all of Sudan.

This is how this collaborative initiative was born…………and now the 101 Days of Prayer will hopefully spread to many parts of the world as Christians and people of many faiths join in this hope-filled act of solidarity with the people of Sudan.

This is an important time to teach people how to be peace builders, to reinforce the importance of peace in all our communities and to prepare the people of Southern Sudan for the referendum. We can do that by praying and acting for peace on both local and global levels and by helping to deepen our personal commitment to becoming an advocate for peace.

The campaign, “101 Days for Peace in Sudan” seeks to create a sacred space for prayer and religious, educational and cultural activities carried out throughout the 9 dioceses of Sudan. The theme for the campaign is: “Change your Heart, Change the World”.

Many “referendum campaigns” have begun, or will begin within the next few weeks.  What is unique about the 101 Days for Peace in Sudan is its focus on prayer, acknowledging that peace is a gift from God and that each person has the responsibility to prepare for this gift at an individual as well as at a community level.

 

What is being planned in Sudan?

Planning for the campaign began in May when a consultative group was formed to generate ideas and  to organize activities.  The bishops endorsed the campaign at their plenary session in July.  7,000 posters, 8,100 reflection booklets and more than 100,000 prayer cards in various languages have been produced and distributed to all the dioceses.  The reflection booklets have weekly themes and daily quotes related to peace.   The booklets are tools for clergy, religious, catechists, teachers, leaders of parish groups to use.  The seven radio stations of the Catholic Radio Network will have one pre recorded 15 minute meditation per week and a two hour live program each week.  Each radio station will begin the day by praying the Prayer for a Peaceful Referendum and reading the daily quotation.

What can we do throughout the World?

• We can make the 101 Days of Prayer for a Peaceful Referendum known far and wide – though our networks of friends, colleagues, parishes, JPIC groups etc.

• We can say the special 101 Day Prayer for Peace 

• We can check the themes and quotations suggested for each week and for each day

•  We can advocate on behalf of Southern Sudan, asking the UN and our own governmental representatives to ensure that the referendum is allowed to proceed and that it is fairly conducted.

•  We can hold peace building events in our own part of the world with a special focus on Sudan.


Concluding Thoughts:

Catholic Social Teaching lists “peace” as one of its guiding principles. Our Christian faith calls us to be reconcilers and peace builders.  The 101 Days campaign is based on the desire to build peace and to become peace-makers.  The US Bishops in their 1983 Pastoral Letter “The Challenge of Peace” remind us that “Peacemaking is not an optional commitment; it is a requirement of our faith. We are called to be peacemakers, not by some movement, but by our Lord Jesus.(Art. 56)”  Pope John Paul II wrote the following in his encyclical “On the Development of Peoples” “Peace is something that is built up day after day, in the pursuit of an order intended by God, which implies a more perfect form of justice among all people.” Let us respond to this call, let us continue the work of peace and justice, knowing that we are being true to our vocation as Christians.

Bishop's Letter

September, 18, 2010

 

DEAR DOR CHURCH PERSONNEL AND CHRISTIAN FAITHFUL,

 

I am writing to you from Italy to tell you that I am UNITED with YOU,  as we begin the” 101  DAY OF PRAYER  FOR  PEACE”  in our diocese of Rumbek EITHER on Sunday September 19th OR  on Tuesday,  the 21st of September.

 

We are entering a time of  RENEWAL OF OUR FAITH AND OF TRUST IN GOD

TO  ASK HIM TO GIVE US  THE GIFTS OF  PEACE AND RECONCILIATION IN ORDER TO HAVE  A  REFERENDUM  WITHOUT CONFLICTS AND FREE FROM  HARDSHIP AMONG OURSELVES.

 

Let us dedicate ourselves to prayer,  good deeds and events of good will not only in church, but also in our families , in our places of work and in our entire community.

LET US CHANGE THE HEART AND THE BEHAVIOUR OF OUR COMMUNITY AND  BECOME  “PEOPLE OF GOOD WILL”  TOWARDS  EVERYONE.

 

In addition, let us grow in the understanding of our duties in view of  the referendum through proper education in all our church groups and through listening carefully to the civic education that will be given through our GOOD NEWS RADIO.

MAY THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD UNITE US IN OUR PRAYER FOR PEACE!AND

IN THE SPIRIT OF UNITY,  I BLESS ALL YOUR STEPS ALONG THIS JOURNEY.

Videos/Audio

Radio Rumbek

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Official Prayer

Prayer for PEACE in Sudan

Lord Jesus, you who said to us;
“I leave you peace. My peace I give you.”
Look upon us your sisters and brothers
in Sudan as we face this moment
of referendum.
Send us your Spirit
to guide us.
Give us the wisdom we need to choose
our future where we will know
your true peace.
You call us out of slavery, oppression,
and persecution so that we may
have life in abundance.
Grant us peace with one another.
Give peace among ethnic groups.
Help us to work together for the good of all.
We ask this in your name,
Jesus our Lord.
Amen.
Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us.

Oración para La Paz en Sudán

Señor Jesús, nos dijiste:
“La paz les dejo la paz les doy.”
Míranos como tus hermanos y hermanas
en Sudán al llegar a este momento
del referendum.

Mándanos tu Espíritu
para guíarnos.

Danos la sabiduría que necesitamos para eligir
Nuestro futuro donde conoceremos tu paz verdadera.
Tú nos libras de la esclavitud, opresión,
y persecución para que tengamos una vida abundante
Danos paz entre nosotros.

Danos paz entre diferentes grupos étnicos.
Ayúdanos para trabajar juntos para el bien común.
Te lo pedimos en tu nombre
Jesus Nuestro Señor

Amén

María, Reina de La Paz, ruega por nosotros.

Prière pour la PAIX

au SOUDAN

 Seigneur Jésus, tu nous as dit:
« Je vous laisse la paix. Je vous donne ma paix. »
Regarde-nous, tes sœurs et frères au Soudan
au moment du référendum.

Envois-nous ton Esprit
pour nous guider.
Donne-nous la Sagesse
dont nous avons besoin pour choisir
notre future où nous connaîtrons ta vraie paix.

Tu nous appelles à sortir de l’esclavage, de l’oppression
et de la persécution pour que nous ayons
vie en abondance.

Accorde-nous la paix, les uns avec les autres.

Accorde la paix entre les groupes ethniques.

Aide-nous à travailler pour le bien de tous.

Nous te le demandons en Ton Nom,
Jésus, notre Seigneur.

Amen.

 

Marie, Reine de la Paix, prie pour nous.

La preghiera per la pace in Sudan

Signore Gesù, Tu ci hai detto:
"Vi lascio la pace, vi do la mia pace”
Prenditi cura dei tuoi fratelli e sorelle del Sudan
mentre si preparano al referendum.

Inviaci il tuo spirito per guidarci.
Dacci la saggezza di cui necessitiamo
per scegliere il nostro futuro,
futuro in quale conosceremo la tua pace.

Ci hai liberato dalla schiavitù, dall'oppressione
e dalla persecuzione,
così che potemmo vivere nell'abbondanza.

Concedici la pace tra noi.
Porta la pace tra tutti i gruppi etnici.
Aiutaci a lavorare insieme per il bene di tutti.

Chiediamo questo in tuo nome,
o Nostro Signore Gesù.
Amen.

Maria, Regina della Pace, prega per noi.

 

Weekly Reflections

Introduction

 

Dear Friends,

We invite you to take a journey of 101 days as we prepare for the referendum in Southern Sudan. Our journey begins on the International Day of Peace, September 21, 2010 and will end on World Day of Peace, January 1,2011. Between those two dates there are 101 days.

In looking ahead toward that referendum, we can anticipate a time of increasingly heightened anxiety as Southern Sudan prepares to make an enormously important decision. It is likely that campaigns will be activated, organizations will be mobilized, debates will be energized and that increasing scrutiny will be given to this decision.

Diverse opinion and spirited discussions of controversial topics are healthy in a society as long as they are held in a peaceful manner. As a post-conflict country with a long history of war, however, Sudan's familiarity with peace is quite limited.

And so, the confluence of International Day of Peace and the World Day of Peace invites us to initiate a campaign of prayer and activities for peace during the 101 days between September 21, 2010 and January 1, 2011. It will be an important time to teach people how to be peace-builders, to reinforce the importance of peace in our communities, to prepare for the referendum by praying for peace, and to deepen each one's commitment to becoming an advocate for peace.

We offer you this booklet of reflections and quotations on different themes of peace. Reflecting together and praying for a peaceful referendum in Sudan will be a means of grace enabling us to change our hearts and our world.

Solidarity with Southern Sudan (SSS) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) have teamed together to launch this important campaign.

Initiatives/Documents

101 Days Inauguration

 

101 Days of Prayer:  Poster

101 Days of Prayer: Brochure


101 Days of Prayer: Brochure in double pages

Some suggestions for inviting others to participate in this prayer campaign
for the 101 Days of Prayer Towards a Peaceful Referendum in Sudan

 

This campaign prayer could be used at various times such as:

  1. in your personal prayer time
  2. within your family prayer at the dinner table
  3. at the start of parish meetings
  4. during a prayer meeting before or after Sunday Mass
  5. during a visit to a sick relative or friend
  6. while walking or exercising alone or with others

However and whenever we pray, we are invited to embrace this campaign and make it a part of our life. A few minutes each day will make a difference.

We can expect that things will happen, because the action of the Holy Spirit will change hearts, build faith, touch lives, heal relationships, provide wisdom, empower mission and transform our Country.

“The Spirit comes to help us in our weakness. For when we cannot choose words in order to pray properly, the Spirit himself expresses our plea in a way that could never be put into words, and God who knows everything in our hearts knows perfectly well what he means, and that the pleas of the saints expressed by the Spirit are according to the mind of God.” (Romans 8:26-27)

Clergy

  • Direct your daily mass and prayer of the church to the Peaceful Referendum
  • Encourage parishioners through homilies and talks to embrace this campaign
  • Make use of the prayer card and the poster and place them on the church seats
  • Take the prayer card to all parish meetings and begin each meeting with one of the prayers

Religious

  • Encourage those you meet in your ministry with a word of scripture about the important of peace in our life.
  • Share with others how you pray and introduce to them prayers to this campaign
  • In your personal and community prayer, take time to intercede for the needs of the diocese, the community and the country.
  • Pray with and give copies of the prayer card to those in hospitals, prisons………

SCCs Groups

  • When walking or exercising pray for the particular monthly intention of the Church
  • Gather your friends and fellow parishioners for a weekly or fortnightly time of prayer
  • Give copies of the prayer card to your family members and teach your children to pray

Sick

  • Offer your pain and suffering to God in prayer for the Peaceful Referendum in Sudan
  • When friends and families visit, ask them to pray with you, asking the Peace of Christ to heal you
  • Draw strength and courage from the promises in scripture of the presence of Peace in our lives

Families

  • Parents teach your children to recite this prayer to the Peaceful Referendum as they start their day
  • Children lead the family in a simple litany of your favourite saints using the refrain: pray for the Peaceful Referendum.
  • Share an experience of how the Peaceful live has made a difference in your life

Teachers

  • Talk about the gifts and fruits of the Peaceful Referendum in our lives
  • Give students a detailed understanding of the 101 Days Prayer campaign, its vision and needs
  • Utilize the prayer card in your classroom prayer

Young People

  • Invite friends to any activities of the 101 Days of Prayer Campaign for a Peaceful Referendum in the Sudan, that teaches how a Peaceful society works in our lives
  • Choose a time each week to pray for the young people of the Southern Sudan to grow in Peace and love of Christ
  • Share with your friends what a difference it makes to be in Peace in your life.

Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Lodongo Sebit Ladu
Diocesan Pastoral Coordinator
Diocese of Yei, Catholic Church
YEI, S. Sudan

Diocesan Launching of the “101 Days of Prayer towards a Peaceful Referendum in Sudan”

 September 19:

Rumbek 

  • Official launching of 101 Days of Prayer Towards a Peaceful Referendum in Sudan in the Cathedral.  There will only be one mass at 10:00.  Representatives from UNMIS and other churches in Rumbek will be invited as well as some government officials and they will give a talk.
  • Groups will present cultural dances, drum and songs about peace
  • Prison and hospital visits will be conducted in the afternoon with messages of peace
  • The day will be concluded with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at 6 p.m.
  • The Good News Radio will be used to invite people to the official launching to let them know about the 101 Days of Prayer

 

Malakal

On September 19th the Catholic faithful  in all the parishes of Malakal and Bentiu will celebrate the opening day of Prayer for a Peaceful Referendum.  This is due to the fact that the majority of the faithful are present on Sunday. We have invited other Christian Churches to do the same in their churches.


September 21:

 

The following activities are planned in various other dioceses:

 

  • El Obeid - Mass for Peace in St. Mary’s Queen of Africa Cathedral
    • Khartoum  - Mass for Peace in the Cathedral and parishes
    • Wau – Mass for Peace in St. Mary’s Cathedral
    • Juba-  9:00 a.m. Procession from Juba Stadium to Nyakuron Center for ecumenical prayer.  Mass on the grounds of St. Theresa’s Cathedral at 5:00 p.m.

Last Updated on Saturday, 11 December 2010 18:22