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Father Landry Prays for Christians in Gaza

Father Roger Landry, chaplain of the Seton Route of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage, is the Vatican-appointed Ecclesiastical Assistant (national chaplain) to the papal charity Aid to the Church in Need USA, which helps suffering and persecuted Christians across the globe.

He is committed to praying for one group of persecuted Christians each week of the nine-plus-week pilgrimage.

During the first week, he is praying for the suffering Christians of Holy Family Parish in Gaza.

"The main intention of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage," Father Landry said, "is the Eucharistic Revival of the Church in the United States. We are also obviously praying fofr all the intentions that have been entrusted to us before and during our journey, for the renewal of the Church in the United States, for the needs of our country and her people.

"But I can't help but to pray for those Christians throughout the world who, for one reason or another, are prevented from getting to Mass, or whose lives are endanger whenever they attend. My work with Aid to the Church in Need USA brings me in touch with our suffering brothers and sisters all over the world. I pray for them every day. And during this Eucharistic Pilgrimage in which I will have the privilege to be able to adore the Lord in the monstrance just inches from my face for several hours a day, I likewise wanted to intercede for those who don't have the circumstances, often, to do a Eucharistic procession at all."

Father Landry worked with the staff of ACN-USA to prioritize different persecuted and suffering Churches for whom to intercede.

He decided to begin with the Christians of Holy Family Parish in Gaza, which depends on support of Aid to the Church in Need for its survival.

"Father Gabriel Romanelli, Sister Nabila, her six fellow nuns and another priests look after 512 Christians at the Holy Family Catholic Church," said Fr. Landry. "That includes 120 children and 84 faithful over the age of 65. This care occurs while intense military conflicts and shelling are occurring in the area surrounding the church, and a critical shortage of food and clean water is affecting the region.


"Thirty Christians have lost their lives due to the conflict, 19 have been killed by military action and 11 have died due to a lack of medical care. Christian families in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are confined to where they are. They cannot travel or go to work. This means they have no wages to pay rent, to buy food, to meet basic needs. This means no tangible ways in which to survive. Without help from charities like Aid to the Church in Need, they would not survive.

"The Christians of Holy Family parish, struggling under frightening and terrible circumstances, have asked us to pray for them and not abandon them. That's what I'm trying to do. And I'm praying publicly in the hope that others might join me."

Each week during the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage, Father Landry will pray for a different persecuted or suffering Christian group somewhere in the world.

Those who would like to find out more about the situation of the suffering Christians in Gaza and elsewhere — and how to help them by prayer and concrete support — are encouraged to find out more at the website of Aid to the Church in Need.

Here is a video Father Landry recorded at St. Mary's Church in New Haven, where the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage's Seton Route will begin on May 18, about praying for the suffering Christians in Gaza.


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