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Area Catholics ask pilgrims to pray for the world

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On pilgrimage to Marian shrines in Europe, Father Tom Brinkmoeller holds the box of prayer requests from home and asks pilgrims to pray for them. CT PHOTO GREG HARMAN

By Gail Finke

In an increasingly secular age, people are increasingly suspicious of prayers. In some circles, saying “I’ll pray for you” is received as an insult or, at best, a meaningless wish of goodwill. Many secular politicians and celebrities openly mock others who say “our prayers are with” the people of any disaster. And many who don’t profess a religion assume that when people pray, they pray for their selfish desires.

When Bishop Joseph R. Binzer led a group of pilgrims from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati to Fatima, Lourdes, and other Marian shrines in Europe this fall, he asked readers of “The Catholic Telegraph” to send him prayer requests for the pilgrims. As they poured in the “Telegraph” office by the hundreds, the staff was impressed by how many people prayed for others. In addition to their health and their family members and friends, they prayed for many things, including for  family members who have left the church, jobs, disease and injury, addiction, marriages and children, spouses, family members who have died, spiritual healings, our country, our world, all souls, and for peace.

The pilgrims took all the prayers sent in by mail or by email, kept together in a small box, to every church and shrine with them. As they pilgrims began posting photos and thoughts online, hundreds more prayer requests came in over the internet. The pilgrims prayed for all intentions at every Mass, and several pilgrims read the requests in batches so that all were prayed for individually.

The box made one last pilgrim stop on Oct. 13 at the archdiocese’s Fatima Centennial service, where it was tucked beneath the table holding the statue of our Lady of Fatima and the pilgrims, many of whom reunited for this event, prayed for them one last time.
Among the many selfless prayers sent to Bishop Binzer and the pilgrims were these, in their own words:

For peace and the Holy Father
Peace in the world
World peace
Peace and forgiveness in my family
A safe school year
An end to violence, racism, and bullying in our society
Hope and help for people who are suicidal
An end to abortion
The end to the culture of death in our world
For all who are sick that you ease their pain
The conversion of terrorists
For all addicted to drugs and alcohol
Help for the president
Mental health for bullied people and ability to forgive being bullied
Pilgrims everywhere
Christians all over
For seminarians who visit prison
The Hispanic for faith and love of God
Lonely people everywhere
To stop bad drugs
Freedom of religion
All our young people to find Christ
A cure for spinal muscular atrophy
Peace in our country and the world
For our country’s safety
For all government
for all leaders in health, business, education
for religious and clergy
for mercy and peace with justice
for the pope, the president, and world leaders
for the pope and bishops’ consecration of Russia to I.H.Mary
to and end of abortion on demand in the US
safety of our military
peace and harmony
salvation of all souls
conversion of all hearts
all seniors and challenged living centers in Dayton
holy souls in Purgatory
conversion of sinners
a cure for cancer and Alzheimers
our nation be peaceful and loving
that the Catholic Church grows in a HUGE way!
Cure for cancer
For families
An increase in priestly vocations
Religious vocations to men and women
For the suffering
For hungry children
That those suffering addictions seek help
For the healing of broken families
That unwed fathers and mothers can handle the stress and financial burden of raising a child
Refresh our church leaders
Protecting of the Church and the USA from all enemies
For the sick, suffering, and dying
for peace in the world and among peoples
for the upcoming academic school year of Catholic educators and students
for our enemies
for Pres. Trump & VP Pence and cabinet and families
the end of war
for God’s will and the Holy Spirit to guide government officials
end to abortion and euthanasia, and all the abuses in life in between
to bring peace and protections to the Middle East
for persecuted Christians
God’s will for those I love and the entire world
Healing and change
To do your will to the end – stay with me, Jesus


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