Prayer for the First Sunday of Lent
Grant almighty God, through the yearly observances of holy Lent, that we may grow in understanding of the riches hidden in Christ and by worthy conduct pursue their effects. Through our Lord.
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Maronite Bishops Gather to Elect New Patriarch
|Cardinal Nasrallah Sfeir, Maronite Patriarch Emeritus|
Thirty-seven Maronite bishops, among them several presiding over dioceses across the world, including Mgr Joseph Khoury of Montreal, arrived in Bkirki, Lebanon for the Wednesday afternoon assembly that marks the beginning of the electoral process for choosing a new patriarch for their church. After a two day retreat, they were secluded for the duration of the electoral process.
Before the doors were locked, the bishops, headed by Cardinal Sfeir, whose resignation from the Patriarch's office was accepted by Pope Benedict XVI some ten days earlier, gathered in the patriarchate’s church to voice prayers with the participation of the Vatican’s Nuncio Most Reverend Gabriel Caccia.
As doors were closed, all Bkirki’s telecommunications were shut down, including landline phones and Internet access. Special equipment to jam cellular phone signals within the patriarchate perimeter was also deployed....
The spiritual conclave, which could take up to 15 days, requires a quorum of two-thirds of the attending bishops for a new patriarch to be elected. If the bishops fail to elect a patriarch after 15 days, it is left to the Vatican to appoint one.
A maximum of 60 rounds of elections will take place with four rounds daily: two in the morning and two in the afternoon.
When asked about the circumstances governing the electoral process, the bishops were unanimous in calling for the Holy Spirit to inspire them to elect the best candidate.
Let us pray for the one who will be chosen as he will have many challenges ahead.