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One Catholic parish’s message to the world: ‘Life is tough. We are praying for you.’

OHIO BYZANTINE PARISH BILLBOARD

This billboard is part of a campaign launched by St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Parish in Barberton, Ohio. The campaign is part of a new faith formation and outreach program for the upcoming pastoral year. The billboard reads, "Life is tough. We are praying for you." (CNS photo/courtesy courtesy of St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Parish) See PARISH-BILLBOARD July 27, 2017.

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 07/28/17

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A glance, a thought, a prayer are what St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Parish had hoped to inspire in commuters when it launched its first billboard campaign in 2015. Now the parish, situated in Barberton, Ohio, has launched its sixth billboard campaign, with the message: “Life is tough. We are praying for you.” The parish wants to communicate its prayerful presence and solidarity with community members in the midst of their daily struggles, said the pastor, Father Miron Kerul-Kmec. A banner that measures 8 feet by 14 feet was hoisted up onto the side of the church building in mid-May, and since early July, an 8-foot-by-20-foot billboard has graced a busy intersection nearby. It will have an eight-week run. “A billboard with a Christian message, if done correctly, has power,” said the pastor. “The church’s message on a billboard is not a product like any other.” He gave the example of a previous campaign, which featured the prayer, “Lord, have mercy.” “If a small percentage of people who passed by were encouraged to say this short prayer, it’s great and the world became a better place for this,” he said. “It is something small that can change your thoughts and bring you to something better.” The new billboard is the communications component of the parish’s yearlong pastoral program, which will include catechesis on the Byzantine Catholic Divine Liturgy and prayer. “Prayers are a very powerful tool for how to change your life,” he said. “There is a need to refresh our understanding of prayer. We can use this prayer which is given to us, the Divine Liturgy. We want to remind our faithful how precious the Diving Liturgy is. We pray for the whole world there.”

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