Catholic Rural Ministry in the Venango and Clarion Counties Prepares to Celebrate WORLD DAY OF PRAYER, 2013

World Day of Prayer is a global, ecumenical movement of Christian women who join together for informed prayer and prayerful action. This year, Sister Marian Wehler, OSB and Sister Tina Geiger, RSM, who work in Catholic Rural Ministry in the Venango and Clarion counties, were part of a committee that prepared for this annual event to be held at noon on February 28th, the eve of World Day of Prayer. Women from various Oil City Churches will gather at the First Presbyterian Church in Oil City to celebrate, pray and discuss this year’s theme: “ I Was A Stranger and You Welcomed Me.”

Sister Marian expressed her passion for this upcoming event, “I could not let World Day of Prayer go by unnoticed. The ongoing immigration debate, growing awareness of human trafficking and the large number of refugees across the globe are a call to all Christians to welcome the stranger among us.” Sister Tina added, “We live in a society now where people don’t know who their neighbors are. We’ve lost the sense of welcoming our neighbor . . .” Sister Marian also noted that the recent statement by the Conference of Benedictine Prioresses (CBP) in support of immigration reform could not have been more timely. As expressed by CBP, “Hospitality is a core value of Benedictine spirituality as well as a sacred duty and trust. Because we know that it is God whom we receive in the ‘other’, we dare to speak out, even in this age of violence and fear of the stranger. We are compelled to raise our voices in an effort to transform the culture of fear and exclusion into one of peace and inclusion where the ‘stranger’ becomes friend.” (Click here to read the statement in its entirety.)

The materials for this year’s international celebration of World Day of Prayer were prepared by women of France. To honor that contribution, the Oil City event will display art prints of France seen here in the picture being held by (left to right) Dot Hajdu, Sister Tina Geiger, RSM, Pat Wilson, Sister Marian Wehler, OSB, and Margo Huston.