LINCOLN (SNR) – Cristo Rey Catholic Church in Lincoln will host a bilingual candlelight ecumenical prayer service Friday, Sept. 19, from 8 to 9 p.m., for children fleeing violence in Central America.
The event, which will include prayers, music and more, will be held on the front lawn of Cristo Rey Church, 4221 J St., Lincoln. Candles will be provided.
Mass will precede the prayer service, at 7 p.m. in Cristo Rey Church.
Father Ramón Decaen, pastor of Cristo Rey, said they invite all to participate in the gathering, to pray for the safety of children crossing the border alone.
“Over the past few months,” he said, “we have heard about the tragic situation with children crossing the borders south of us. Central American children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras are migrating alone to the United States in record numbers. Many face violence back in their home countries and flee with hope for something more.
“On their way north,” he continued, “they face the added threats of human traffickers, treacherous terrain, exploitation, and even death. The humanitarian and policy-oriented aspects of this situation cause many to advocate on behalf of the protection of these migrant children.
Father Decaen pointed out the Holy Father’s comments on the plight of those fleeing their countries due to violence and other causes. And in June, he said, the Bishop Mark Seitz of the USCCB Committee on Migration testified to the House Judiciary Committee concerning the tragic situation, calling it a “humanitarian crisis” that he has witnessed firsthand through his travels and research, as well as in his work as Bishop of El Paso.
“We as a Christian community are called to unite on behalf of these children through prayers and other acts of solidarity,” Father Decaen said.
Father Decaen will lead the prayers, along with Father Douglas Dietrich of St. Mary Parish in Lincoln and Rev. Harry Riggs of First Baptist Church, with the assistance of children and musicians from churches in the area.
A reception in the church hall will follow the prayer service. For more information, please call 402-488-5087.