WASHINGTON, D.C. — The International Week of Prayer and Fasting (IWPF), a Catholic global movement, is launching its 20th annual campaign to pray for the conversion of nations, the building of a culture of life and the promotion of peace throughout the world. The Coalition is asking for people to participate as individuals, families and parishes during this 18 day period (two back-to-back nine day novena prayers): the first novena is to petition God's mercy and the second novena is in thanksgiving for answered prayers.
The campaign begins with an all-day Eucharistic Prayer Vigil at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 20 Speakers include Dr. Richard Russell, an established international relations scholar; Vicki Thorn, founder of Project Rachel; Monsignor Charles Pope, pastor of Holy Comforter in Washington D.C.; Bishop George Nkuo, Bishop of Kumbo Cameroon, Africa; Fr. Chad Partain, founder of the St. Philomena Youth for Purity Program; and Ted Flynn, popular author and speaker.
Pope John Paul II backed IWPF when he said in a message given on October 1, 2001: "As a pledge of an abundance of Divine Blessings upon you and yours, I paternally impart to all participants of the International Week of Prayer and Fasting my most heartfelt apostolic blessing."
The coalition received support from Mother Teresa in its early days. She said, "You must do this, God wants this, prayer is the answer to the world's problems." Blessed Mother Teresa also said "I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace in the world is abortion...the fruit of abortion is nuclear war."
Coalition chairperson Maureen Flynn says, "Many news, political and religious commentators speak today about our global financial crisis, but few speak about our rapid spiritual and moral decline. Many people believe that America is now under God's judgment. In addition to the concern over whales stranded on the beach and other unfortunate animal tragedies, there should be outrage and sorrow over the daily destruction of over 4000 unborn babies in America through abortion. Since the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision, there have been more than 50 million unborn children that have been destroyed by abortion. We must remember, Our Lord is a God of Mercy and He responds to our repentance and prayers. As individuals, as families and as nations we must pray and fast for a global culture of life and peace."
For information or to register for the free prayer vigil at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, please visit our website www.iwopf.org or contact us at 1-888-478-PRAY / 703-707-0799 or email email@example.com.