Cardinal Justin Rigali has called for all Catholic Churches in Philadelphia to remain open next Wednesday, Oct. 8, between 7 and 8 p.m. for “prayer and reflection” in the wake of the killing of Police Officer Patrick McDonald.

Calling the initiative the “Power of Prayer: Opening Doors and Hearts to Peace,” the Cardinal invited all Catholics, especially police, fire fighters and other emergency responders, to pay a visit and join in prayer for neighborhood peace.

Noting that McDonald was the fifth Philadelphia police officer to die in the line of duty in the last two and a half years, the Cardinal said this was a “powerful moment for the Church and indeed for all the people of Philadelphia.”

While the formal invitation is directed to Catholics, the Cardinal made clear in informal remarks with members of the press following the funeral for McDonald, that all would be welcome regardless of faith.

“Together, let us ask the Lord to keep our public servants safe from harm and to assist us to bring an end to the violence that plagues our city.”

– John Gillespie,
Special to the CS&T