World Day of Prayer for Peace
Happy New Year! The year begins with the 47th annual World Day of Prayer for Peace. The theme of this year’s World Day of Peace is, "Fraternity, the Foundation and Pathway to Peace." Fraternity, of course, is one of the four fundamental principles of Columbianism. Pope Francis begins his message with these words: "In this, my first Message for the World Day of Peace, I wish to offer to everyone, individuals and peoples, my best wishes for a life filled with joy and hope. In the heart of every man and woman is the desire for a full life, including that irrepressible longing for fraternity which draws us to fellowship with others and enables us to see them not as enemies or rivals, but as brothers and sisters to be accepted and embraced." By "fraternity" the Holy Father means brotherhood or fellowship, the familial bond which makes all people equal in the sight of God because of our common origin in him and our shared human nature. The Holy Father goes on to say how important it is for all people to acknowledge that God has structured humanity as a family:
Fraternity is an essential human quality, for we are relational beings. A lively awareness of our relatedness helps us to look upon and to treat each person as a true sister or brother; without fraternity it is impossible to build a just society and a solid and lasting peace. We should remember that fraternity is generally first learned in the family, thanks above all to the responsible and complementary roles of each of its members, particularly the father and the mother. The family is the wellspring of all fraternity, and as such it is the foundation and the first pathway to peace, since, by its vocation, it is meant to spread its love to the world around it.
In his message our Holy Father also says: "In many parts of the world, there seems to be no end to grave offenses against fundamental human rights, especially the right to life and the right to religious freedom." Brother Knights, who would ever have imagined that in our own country these "fundamental human rights"—upon which our country was founded—would be attacked as much as they are today. Continue to carry the torch in defense of the unborn and of all whose human dignity is threatened in any way! We must also continue to defend the nature of marriage as God has ordained it, and the right of people of conscience to act according to their religious and moral convictions. Wednesday, January 22, 2014, marks the 41st anniversary of the deception that the "right to privacy" is greater than the "right to life." The March for Life will be held in Washington, DC, on that day. This is one area where the young people of our diocese of high school and college age have demonstrated their enthusiasm and idealism. Let us pray for and support those who will participate in this year’s March for Life.
May God bless you and your families throughout the coming year.
-- Msgr. Michael Gorman, Chaplain