International day of prayer welcomes all faiths

Langford parish hosts this year’s World Day of Prayer event

Gloria Ash

Gloria Ash

Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church will open its heavy, ornate wooden door to people of all faiths, religions and followings for World Day of Prayer 2017.

Ann Devlin, chair for the event, which involves Christian churches on the West Shore, said it is open to people of all faiths, backgrounds and religious persuasions.

“It’s never been more important for people of all faiths to come together,” she said. “Especially at this time, in view of the tragedy at the mosque in Quebec City and what’s going on in many countries around the world. You can never underestimate the power of prayer and the healing that can come from that.”

The theme for this year’s event is a prayer, “Am I Being Unfair To You,” based on a verse from Matthew 20: 1-16.

Each year a different country writes the prayer service for the World Day of Prayer, with the Philippines doing the honours for 2017.

The aim is to promote ecumenism, social justice and fellowship between different churches and people of different faiths, explained Odette Huculak, one of the organizers.

Added communications co-ordinator Gloria Ash, “A reception following the fellowship provides an opportunity for people to communicate and get to know each other.”

More than 170 countries and 2,000 communities across Canada are expected to take part in the World Day of Prayer. Last year’s event was hosted by Gordon United Church in Langford, and in 2018 Our Lady Star of the Sea in Colwood will take on hosting duties. Communities all over Vancouver Island take part each year.

Originally known as Women’s World Day of Prayer, it began in Canada and the United States in 1920 and became an international event in 1922.

World Day of Prayer takes place at 1 p.m. on Friday, March 3 at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church at 768 Goldstream Ave., and is co-ordinated by the Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada.