NEW HAVEN, Conn—The Knights of Columbus issued a statement Feb. 15 asking all Catholics to pray daily for the pope and the church in anticipation of Pope Benedict XVI’s retirement and the election of a new pope.
Pope Benedict XVI has publicly asked for prayers for himself, his successor and the church. “Continue to pray for me, for the church, and for the future pope,” he said during the papal audience Feb. 20. He also thanked all those who have kept him in their prayers.
People can record their pledge to pray at www.PrayerfortheChurch.com
The names of those who have made the pledge online will be brought to the new pope’s installation Mass. Prayer cards are available from the Knights for use by parishes, schools or local councils. They can be ordered by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The Knights encourage people to send their prayerful support to Pope Benedict XVI by tweeting “I am praying for you” and the hashtag #prayerforthechurch to his twitter account (@pontifex).
Here is the prayer written by Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, Knights of Columbus supreme chaplain:
“O Lord Jesus Christ , Supreme Pastor of Your Church,
we thank you for the ministry of Pope Benedict XVI
and the selfless care with which he has led us
as Successor of Peter, and Your Vicar on earth.
“Good Shepherd, who founded Your Church
on the rock of Peter’s faith
and have never left Your flock untended,
look with love upon us now,
and sustain Your Church in faith, hope, and charity.
“Grant, Lord Jesus, in Your boundless love for us,
a new Pope for Your Church
who will please You by his holiness
and lead us faithfully to You,
who are the same yesterday, today, and forever.
“Until a new pope is elected, we ask Catholics worldwide to pledge to say this prayer daily for Pope Benedict, for the Church, and for our future pope, and to encourage their friends and families to do the same ” Supreme Knight Carl Anderson stated in a press release.
Supreme Knight Anderson serves on several Vatican committees, and has worked with Pope Benedict XVI and with his predecessor Blessed John Paul II.
“In these remaining days of his papacy, our thoughts and prayers are with Pope Benedict XVI, who has worked so hard in leading the Church, and has always been such a good friend to the Knights of Columbus,” Anderson said in a statement. “We wish him all the best in his retirement. In addition, we pray for all those cardinals who will take part in the conclave, and for his successor, that God may inspire them as they carry out the mission with which they are entrusted.”
For more information visit www.PrayerfortheChurch.com or follow the campaign on Twitter (@KofC).