DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — The power of prayer was on display at the Cathedral Basilica of St. James as the faithful gathered with Bishop Robert Brennan for a Day of Prayer for Peace on Friday, Oct. 27.
Bishop Brennan led the faithful in prayer during Holy Hour at 11 a.m. and then celebrated Mass at noon, praying for peace in the Middle East in the wake of the attack by Hamas on Israel on Oct. 7.
The Mass at St. James in Downtown Brooklyn was timed to take place at the exact same moment Pope Francis led a Holy Hour at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome (6 p.m. Rome time). The Holy Father asked Catholics all over the world to join him in a day of prayer and fasting for peace on Oct. 27.
The Diocese of Brooklyn responded to the pope’s call by planning its own Holy Hour and Mass.
Bishop Brennan told Currents News that it was “great to be united with the Holy Father in such an effort, calling the whole world to pray for peace.”
The surprise attack by Hamas, which killed over 1,300 people in Israel and resulted in hundreds being taken hostage in Gaza, horrified much of the world and exposed deep divisions between people over the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. Since the Oct. 7 attack, advocates for Israel and the Palestinians have had tense clashes at protest demonstrations in New York City and elsewhere.
The mounting humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where electricity was cut off, leaving hospitals with dwindling resources, is adding to concerns for the region.
In issuing his request, Pope Francis noted the suffering that has taken place on both sides, and said war is not the answer to resolving conflicts. “It only sows death and destruction,” he added.