By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
U.S. bishops are encouraging Catholics to pray a novena for life, justice and peace in anticipation of the November election.
The prayer, entitled Novena for Faithful Citizenship, will be available on the Web site of the U.S. bishops’ conference until Nov. 4.
The bishops are offering several options for praying the Novena:
1) Start the Novena on Sept. 2 and pray it for nine consecutive Tuesdays, until the general election.
2) Start the Novena any day of the week, whenever people gather for prayer, and say the Novena on that day every week until the election.
3) Begin praying the Novena every day for nine days before the election, beginning on Oct. 26.
4) Create any combination that works for you and your community, and feel free to pray the Novena more than once.
Joan Rosenhauer, associate director for the U.S. episcopal conference’s Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development, told Zenit News that the special novena is part of “the bishops’ campaign to help Catholics develop well-formed consciences for addressing political and social questions.”
The bishops issued their statement on forming consciences for faithful citizenship in November 2007, entitled Forming Consciences for Citizenship.
Helen Osman, secretary of communications for the conference, said she hopes the novena will help “Catholics enter into prayerful reflection as they prepare to vote.”
Osman added that the bishops’ conference wants to support Catholics as they weigh pre-election issues and that “providing a prayer resource on the Web can help us focus on our common values and identity as Catholics.”