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Leaders of Christian churches at the prayer service in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral, Adelaide (The Southern Cross/Ben Macmahon)

South Australian people of faith were encouraged to continue to “pray and build friendships” as they gathered for an ecumenical service calling for peace in Israel and the Palestinian territories. Source: The Southern Cross. 

Held last week in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral, Adelaide, the prayer service was attended by the Governor of South Australia, Frances Adamson, and her husband, Rod Bunten, and brought together about 100 faithful from several Christian churches including Catholic, Lutheran, Uniting Church and Greek Orthodox.

Guests were welcomed by Adelaide Archdiocese’s Vicar General Fr Dean Marin, who spoke of the importance of being “united in faith and prayer” and a call for peace in the world.

Leading the opening prayer, Rev Anne Hewitt, ecumenical facilitator and executive officer from the SA Council of Churches, remembered all the victims of violence in the world.

“We especially pray for the innocent victims of violence and terrorism in Israel and Gaza. We remember all families that have been shattered by what unfolds in this part world … We plead to you, God of light and truth, to bring forward leaders – in the Middle East, Ukraine, Russia, Africa and other parts of our world – who can broker peaceful solutions to enhance the dignity of all, bring about healing and ensure resolutions that are fair and just for all.”

Rev Hewitt said that by participating in the prayer service, they were joining people around the world who were doing the same.

“In the midst of terror and strife in areas of conflict, love still prevails, peace still prevails. There is hope,” she said.

In his homily, Lockleys parish priest Fr Michael Trainor, who is also vice president of the International Council of Christians and Jews, co-chair of the Uniting Church-Roman Catholic Dialogue of SA and a senior lecturer in biblical studies at the Australian Catholic University, spoke of his many visits to the Holy Land, the most recent only a couple of months ago.

He responded to the question being asked by many – what can we do?

“Pray – Pope Francis encouraged us to fast during the week, pray the news and continue to build friendships,” he said.


Faithful urged to ‘pray the news’ (By Lindy McNamara, The Southern Cross