Ecumenical Prayer Octave Celebrated Enthusiastically in Bellary

Representatives from various Christian denominations – pastors, priests and Christian leaders participated in large number in the Ecumenical Prayer Service organized by United Christian Forum, Bellary, at St. Antony’s Cathedral Church, Cowl Bazaar, Sunday, Jan 24 at 6.15 pm. Bishop Henry D’ Souza, Bishop of Bellary and President of ecumenical United Christian Forum presided over the prayer service. In his message Bishop stressed on the need of promoting universal brotherhood and sisterhood of all humanity as preached by Pope Francis. But such a unity can be realized only through unity of all Christians, which is the foundation of Christian life.

“Our divisions are a scandal and they bring confusion in the work of evangelization – of proclaiming good news to all nations”, said Bishop. Rev. Geoffrey Kumar, Holy Trinity Church - Fort, Pastor John Mark, Sharon AG Church - Moka and Rev. Prabhakar Rao, Good Samaritan Church led the service.

Fr. Antony Raj P. Vicar General of Catholic Diocese of Bellary and Rector of St. Anthony’s Cathedral Church welcomed everyone. Fr. Anselm Sunil conducted the service. Raju Balraj, President Catholic Association - Ballari and Executive member of UCF thanked the gathering, particularly Pastor John Mark, Rev. Geoffrey Kumar and their collaborators, and Fr. Ivan Pinto, PRO of UCF. Ecumenical Prayer Octave for Christian Unity included reading the Word of God, hymns and messages and prayers and final message and benediction by Bishop Henry D’Souza.

The prayer octave for Christian unity was observed by UCF Ballari unit with Ecumenical prayer services conducted at Sharon Assembly of God Church at Moka on Jan.18 and All Souls Telugu Church - Fort, on Jan 22. Apart from conducting ecumenical prayer meetings, United Christian Forum, Ballari, organizes various programs such as ecumenical Christmas celebration, Inter-religious meetings, ecumenical procession on Palm Sunday, and Run for Jesus marathon on Easter. Recently on December 10, UCF held an ecumenical meeting to reflect on Pope Francis’s recent encyclical, “Fratelli Tutti”. Earlier an interreligious meeting of various religious leaders was held on Dec. 3, 2020.

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