The in-person World Day of Prayer event renews the sense of community
Our Lady’s Roman Catholic Church hosted the annual March 4 event, this year’s theme, “I Know the Plans I Have for You” (Jeremiah 29:11).
This year’s World Day of Prayer had more meaning for the participants considering it had been almost two years since everyone could gather as a community to celebrate.
Our Lady’s Roman Catholic Church hosted the annual March 4 event, this year’s theme, “I Know the Plans I Have for You” (Jeremiah 29:11). Women from England, Wales and Northern Ireland prepared for the 2022 service. They focused on encouraging people to reflect on the changes and challenges these countries have faced over the centuries as they progressed independently and collectively.
The Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada (WICC) is coordinating the World Day of Prayer event in Canada. It is also one of the founders of this worldwide prayer movement.
“It’s a celebration of faith, but it’s also a celebration of community, especially bringing the diverse denominations together at Moose Jaw,” said organizer RoseMary Hartney.
Normally a group of Moose Jaw women would gather to start the service, but preparations have been scaled back this year due to the ongoing pandemic, she continued. Instead, attendees follow the service by watching recorded video.
“It’s an opportunity for people to come together. As you can see when they gather in the door, some of them haven’t seen each other (for a while). So it’s a big event for them, especially today and on a bad day like this,” Hartney said. “…It feels good when people come together.”
This year’s World Day of Prayer is the first to be held in person since 2020. This event was one of the last gatherings to take place before governments forced residents into lockdown due to COVID-19. Meanwhile, a virtual service was created last year for people to watch online.
“This year we weren’t sure. This year we were hesitant about whether it was going to be personal or not, but we said we have a big facility here and people could come,” Hartney said. “And it looks like half an hour ago I was wondering if anyone was coming, but now they’re here.”
The face-to-face reunion is wonderful because community is important, she continued. It has become apparent over the past two years that community has been lacking along with camaraderie.
“Church is the people, not the building,” she added, “and that’s important.”