Bishop Daniel E. Thomas has called everyone in the Diocese of Toledo to a day of prayer and fasting on Monday, November 7, for the intention that with rightly formed consciences, our participation in the upcoming election may lead to a world of greater respect for life, stronger protection of religious liberty and deeper commitment to justice and peace. Prayer that day may take the form of attendance at Holy Mass or praying the Rosary, Stations of the Cross, Chaplet of Divine Mercy or some other Catholic devotion. Fasting may take the form of not eating or snacking during the day until suppertime, or some other form of fast in accord with a person’s age or physical condition. The faithful of the Diocese are invited to a Mass for the Nation celebrated by Bishop Thomas at 12:05 p.m. that day, November 7, at Saint Francis de Sales Chapel (501 Cherry Street, Toledo) to pray for our country on the day before the election. The Rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy will be prayed at 11:30 a.m. before Mass, and a Holy Hour will follow the Mass with Eucharistic Exposition, Adoration and Benediction.
I imagine other bishops around the country have had a similar idea. If so, please let me know.
UPDATE: Pittsburgh’s Bishop David Zubik has asked his parishes to be open for Adoration Monday:
Bishop David A. Zubik of Pittsburgh has asked every church in his diocese to be open for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament all day Nov. 7, so that people of faith can pray for the nation and the Nov 8 election. “Let us pray that all people will vote in good conscience, seeking the common good and the dignity of all human persons, even when the choices before them seem neither good nor dignified. We must pray that, no matter what the results of the election, our people will work to build a civilization of love, hope and peace,” he wrote in an Oct. 27 letter to all pastors. “Encourage your people to come before the Lord present in the Eucharist and ask for God to guide our nation and shape the consciences of its citizens. Pray for all of our political leaders, present and future, to support laws and promote programs that respect human life at every stage, promote peace among people and nations, care for God’s creation, preserve religious freedom and protect those who are the most poor and vulnerable,” Bishop Zubik wrote.
In a column for Pittsburgh Catholic, he’s urging the faithful to pray before voting:
Where do we stand as Catholics? Which candidate to support? Which negative critique do we reject? Which negative critique do we respect? The church never — this bishop never — will tell you which candidate to embrace or which lever to pull or which button to press or which checkmark to mark in Tuesday’s election. But the church — and this bishop — will tell you that you must consider all the critiques and weigh them with a Catholic perception, a Catholic focus and a Catholic conscience. As I said last week when I told you “how to vote”: Pray before you enter that voting booth. A conscience rooted in true and open prayer will never let you down. Then vote as that Catholic conscience tells you. Vote in faith, hope and prayer this Tuesday. Vote as a faithful citizen.