Bishop hosts prayer for justice and peace

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA)- Church services may be limited inside but one congregation in Central Illinois was able to reach over a thousand people during lunchtime today.
The Diocese of Springfield held a noon day prayer service to call for peace and justice in the wake of the shooting that took the life of George Floyd.

Parishioners gathered at the Cathedral of The Immaculate Conception to pray for a nation trying to move forward after seeing the brutal killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

“We gather here for our prayer for peace, justice and respect for life,” said Bishop Thomas John Paprocki. “It’s very fitting that we come here for these prayers in light of the senseless killing of George Floyd and the civic unrest that has ensued as a result of that. It’s clear that we need to pray.”

While people around the nation have struggled to find a solution to the Floyd’s death at the hands of four police officers, some in attendance believe the answers can be found through devotion.

“Prayer, that’s why I am here today. As a community of faith, as a black catholic commission member, we think when everything else is not working, prayer is the ultimate goal and the ultimate answer,” said Frida Fokum, a state coordinator for the National Association of African Catholics.

“We invoke our blessed Mother Mary as the Queen of Peace. So if we pray for her to intercede for us to bring peace into our nation and our world, we also call Mary by her title as Mayor of Justice so we also pray for justice to be done in the murder of George Floyd,” Paprocki told the congregation.

People at the service commended the Capital City for staying peaceful during these turbulent times. They say that shows someone here could possess the leadership needed to mend the country back together.

“In order to approach a situation like this, we don’t need to destroy. There is something I want the entire city of Springfield to know. Springfield, Illinois is a city for history and we want to keep it that way. We want to make more history in Springfield, Illinois,” said Robert Ewa.

The diocese was originally scheduled to reopen their doors starting this weekend but the bishop and parishioners saw fit to stand in solidarity with those calling for justice.

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