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Archdiocese represented at women-led interfaith prayer service for peace

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A group of women sing during a women-led interfaith prayer service for peace in downtown Cincinnati on Dec. 16. (Courtesy Photo/Sister Tracy Kemme)
A group of women sing during a women-led interfaith prayer service for peace in downtown Cincinnati on Dec. 16. (Courtesy Photo/Sister Tracy Kemme)

People of  all faiths were welcomed in downtown Cincinnati Dec. 16 for a women’s led interfaith prayer service in support of peace and unity in the community.

According to media accounts, roughly 200 people showed up for the service, which was sponsored by AJC Cincinnati, the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati and Christ Church Cathedral.

Women leaders from several faiths were also present. According to a press release from AJC Cincinnati, a Jewish advocacy group, the service was held in light of recent terrorism attacks and a rising climate of intolerance.

Roughly a dozen women faith leaders addressed the crowd to speak on behalf of tolerance. Sister Christine Pratt, congregational minister for the Ursuline Sisters of Brown County,  spoke on behalf of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. She read a message from Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr.

“This is a time of fear in our nation,” read the archbishop’s message. “Those with a radical and violent interpretation of the Islamic faith and ties to extremism abroad have committed atrocities in our midst. These acts of terrorism occur in concert with a cacophony of other mass shootings and criminal violence already in our local neighborhoods and around the nation. We must respond with prayers and support for victims and their families as well as with increased security. However, we must not allow those who terrorize to tell us what to think about almost every other Muslim or about any community, whom they do not represent…

“We hope that this ritual will serve as a reminder to all that God still urges us to keep open our hearts to the divine presence inside each other, especially when other forces tempt us to close them off,” he continued. “As evil forces bring darker times upon us, we can choose the isolation of fear it brings or the mercy of God.”

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