Support persecuted Christians in the Middle East at Ecumenical Prayer Breakfast

Aaron Lambert

The plight of Christians in the Middle East continues to go unheard by much of the world. Still, organizations such as St. Rafka’s Mission of Hope and Mercy persist and fight to make the voices of the persecuted heard.

Once again, this year St. Rafka’s Mission of Hope and Mercy will be hosting the fourth annual Ecumenical Prayer Breakfast Aug. 17-18. A special Mass for peace gathering various local religious leaders will take place at the Cathedral Aug. 17 at 6:30 p.m. and the prayer breakfast will be the morning of Aug. 18 at 7 a.m. Both events are open to the public.

The breakfast has become something of an annual tradition since the launch of the Peace, Love and Co-Existence (PLACE) Initiative in 2014 and is co-supported by Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila and Bishop Elias Zaidan from the Maronite Catholic Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon in the U.S. Special guests to this year’s breakfast include Chaldean Archbishop of Lebanon Michel Kassargi and keynote speaker Matt Schlapp of the American Conservative Union.

St. Rafka’s Mission of Hope and Mercy will be hosting the fourth annual Ecumenical Prayer Breakfast Aug. 17-18.

Among the topics discussed at the breakfast will be a look back at how the legacy of President Ronald Reagan and St. John Paul II can help to advance the cause of religious liberty and save the world’s persecuted Christians.

Father Andre Mahanna, pastor of St. Rafka Maronite Catholic Church and founder of the Mission of Hope and Mercy, wrote a letter to pastors of the Archdiocese of Denver outlining the importance of the breakfast and its goal of raising $50,000 this year to directly cover emergency medical needs of the 4,500 families the mission serves in Lebanon.

“The prayer breakfast comes as a response for a much needed and necessary effort to raise awareness about the persecution of Christians, especially in the Middle East,” Father Mahanna wrote. “Our goal is to raise $50,000 that will go directly to Archbishop Michel Kassargi, covering the emergency medical needs of 4,500 families. These refugees’ living conditions are so extreme that babies are dying on the steps of hospitals due to the lack of funds.

“Our breakfast is an example, where by, the Eastern and Western lungs of the Church come together in an effort to try and stop this humanitarian crisis.” he continued. “With guidance from the Holy Spirit, it is our hope and our mission, that through this event and with your help we will increase a renewed faith and hope in our fellow Christians by assisting in their liberation from ongoing persecution.”

Ecumenical Prayer Breakfast

Friday, Aug. 17
Mass for Peace, 6:30 p.m.
Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception

 

Saturday, Aug. 18
Prayer Breakfast, 7 a.m.–1 p.m.
Knights of Columbus Hall
1555 Grant St., Denver
$100 per person; sponsorships available

Visit missionofhopeandmercy.org for tickets.

COMING UP: Archdiocese of Denver’s news publications honored with 15 Catholic Press Awards

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Coverage of the More Than You Realize conference and reporting on social justice issues were among the 15 honors the Catholic Press Association awarded the Denver Catholic and El Pueblo Catolico at the recent Catholic media conference in Florida, June 18-21.

Bishop Jorge Rodriguez was also awarded first place for a regular column by a bishop or archbishop in a Spanish publication.

The Denver Catholic received seven awards, including first place best news writing on a local or regional event for the staff’s collaborative coverage of the MTYR conference June 11, 2018, at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland.

El Pueblo Catolico received eight awards, including first place for reporting on social justice issues for a story on preventing suicide, and second place for in-depth analysis for a story on the debates surrounding “caravans” of immigrants coming to the United States.

Staff writer Vladimir Mauricio-Pérez, who was recently named the new editor of El Pueblo Catolico, took home four awards – two for articles in the Denver Catholic and two for articles in El Pueblo. For the Denver Catholic, he received a second-place editorial award for a story on the Facebook privacy scandal, and an honorable mention award for a feature story on Blind Faith Brewing.

The publications were also honored with awards for layout, design, interviews and reports.

“I want to congratulate the staff of the Denver Catholic and El Pueblo Catolico for their accomplishments over the past year and the much-deserved recognition they’ve received for their incredible talents,” said Aaron Lambert, Managing Editor. “More importantly, I am thankful for each of their witnesses to Jesus Christ, without whom we would not be able to carry out this mission we’ve been entrusted with. Last but not least, I want to thank the faithful of the Archdiocese of Denver for their support, encouragement, comments and feedback, and most of all, for allowing us to tell your stories.”

Denver Catholic

1st Place – Best News Writing on a Local or Regional Event – “Be Not Afraid” https://denvercatholic.org/past-25-years-remembered-next-25-anticipated-at-more-than-you-realize-conference/

2nd Place – Best Editorial on a National or International Issue – “Facebook privacy scandal a wake-up call for Catholics” (Vladimir Mauricio-Perez) https://denvercatholic.org/facebook-privacy-scandal-a-wake-up-call-for-catholics-experts-say/

2nd Place – Best Annual Report http://read.uberflip.com/i/1079667-financial-report-2018

2nd Place – Most Effective Use of Small Space – Bethlehem Handicrafts (Simona Fava, Kim Grace)

3rd Place – Best Print Circulation Promotion Campaign – Julia Greeley Anniversary Mass (Simona Fava)

Honorable Mention – Beat Feature Writing – “Blind Faith Brewing: the new Catholic taproom in town” (Vladimir Mauricio-Perez) https://denvercatholic.org/blind-faith-brewing-new-catholic-taproom-town/

Honorable Mention – Best Layout of Article or Column – “From the Passover Seder to the Eucharist” (Vladimir Mauricio-Perez, Simona Fava)

El Pueblo Catolico

1st Place – Best Reporting on Social Justice Issues – “El suicidio es prevenible, pongamos manos a la obra” (Mavi Barraza)

1st Place – Best Regular Column by a Bishop or Archbishop – “Joven, Cristo te necesita” (Bishop Jorge Rodriguez)

2nd Place – Best In-Depth Analysis – “Mas allá del debate político la ‘caravana’ son nuestros hermanos” (Vladimir Mauricio-Pérez)

2nd Place – Best Coverage – ‘”Bautiza a tu hijo’ Insistió su amiga. Hoy él es sacerdote.” (Carmen Elena Villa)

3rd Place – Best Reporting – “Propuesta de matrimonio en una obra de teatro” (Carmen Elana Villa)

Honorable Mention – Best Interview – “Monseñor Romero me enseñó que vale la pena sacrificarse por el Señor” (Caren Elena Villa)

Honorable Mention – Best Personality Profile – “Maria Antonia: madre que siempre supo decir sí a Dios”(Vladimir Mauricio-Pérez)

Honorable Mention – Best Cover Magazine or Newspaper – El Pueblo Catolico (Simona Fava)