by NZ CATHOLIC staff
WELLINGTON — A multi-faith prayer service will be held in all of New Zealand’s Catholic dioceses to mark the 25th anniversary of the Assisi Day of Prayer for World Peace.
The New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference Committee for Interfaith Relations is organising the events, which will take place about October 27.
The New Zealand services will consist of prayers read from members of different faith communities and will conclude with a shared prayer of the Decalogue of Assisi for Peace, a prayer of commitment to peace first used at the 2002 meeting in Assisi.
The faith groups participating in New Zealand include Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Baha’i and Sikh.
The St Francis of Assisi Day of Prayer for Peace began on October 27, 1986, when Blessed John Paul II initiated a meeting in Assisi with members of different faith communities. Another meeting followed in January 2002.
On January 1 this year, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he wished to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the historic meeting by holding a day of reflection, dialogue and prayer for peace and justice in the world centred on the theme “Pilgrims of Truth, Pilgrims of Peace”.
He will also make a pilgrimage to the home of St Francis, along with fellow Christians and representatives of the world’s religious traditions.
The chairperson of the NZ Catholic Bishops Conference Committee for Interfaith Relations, Sr Catherine Jones, SMSM, said the Assisi anniversary is important for us in New Zealand, “as we are drawn ever more into peacemaking in our own lives, in our country, and in the world”.
“Being a ‘pilgrim’ means that we are on a journey with others, seeking the way ahead, step by step, day by day,” she said. “Organising a multi-faith prayer event is an invitation to each one to enter more deeply into our own faith tradition, and to receive the gifts of truth and of peace that other believers can offer us.”
New Zealand multi-faith prayer services are to be held at:
n Wellington. Thursday, October 27, Gathering from 5.30pm for 6pm service, Sacred Heart Cathedral, Hill St, Thorndon.
For more information contact Sr Catherine Jones, SMSM: c.jones@wn.catholic.org.nz
 n Auckland. Thursday, October 27, 7.30pm, St Patricks Cathedral, 43 Wyndham St, Auckland Central.
For more information contact Pat Lythe: patl@cda.org.nz
 n Hamilton. Friday, October 21 (part of monthly Taizé prayer), 7.30pm, Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 494 Grey St, Hamilton East.
For more information contact Deacon Peter Richardson: peterr@cdh.org.nz
 n Palmerston North. Thursday, October 27, 7pm, The Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, 197 Broadway Avenue.
For more information contact Mary Eastham: m.eastham@xtra.co.nz
 n Christchurch. Sunday, October 23 (in partnership with the Christchurch Interfaith Society) 2pm. At the Peace Bell in Hagley Park, Christchurch.
For more information contact Sr Bertha Hurley, SMSM: bhurley53@hotmail.com (03) 355 0959.
 n Dunedin. Thursday, October 27, 7.30 pm, Holy Name Church, 420 Great King Street.
For more information, contact Fr Kevin Toomey, OP: revkev1@yahoo.com

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