From Philadelphia, prayers for a better country as DNC meets

Hands in prayer at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Denver Jan 17 2105 Credit Catholic Charities Jeffrey Bruno CC BY 20 2 CNA 1 26 15 Hands in prayer at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Denver, Jan. 17, 2015. | Catholic Charities/Jeffrey Bruno (CC BY 2.0).

As Democratic Party leaders met to choose a presidential nominee and party platform, Philadelphia's Catholic basilica hosted an interreligious prayer service for the United States.

The Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul hosted the July 25 prayer service. Father G. Dennis Gill, the cathedral's rector, presided and gave a homily.

"This was an invitation for people of all faiths to come together and pray, trusting in God to help our culture. We need to walk in that faith," Fr. Gill told Catholic Philly.

The prayer service was sponsored by the Philadelphia Liturgical Institute, an ecumenical foundation focused on Christian worship. Dr. Russell Mitman, a United Church of Christ pastor chief officer of the institute, convened the event.

The event included prayers from Jewish, Protestant and Orthodox Christian leaders as well as scriptural readings. The Cathedral Basilica Choir helped provide the music, as did cantor Charlene Angelini.

Angelini was the cantor for Pope Francis' Mass at the Benjamin Franklin Parkway during his October 2015 visit to the U.S. Songs included "Amazing Grace" and "America the Beautiful."

Dr. Mitman said the Democratic National Committee had asked the liturgical institute to hold the service. He thanked Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, the cathedral and Fr. Gill for hosting.

"I think it went very well and it was great that we could create for the people an opportunity to pray for peace and hope in the midst of all the rancor and muddle of the political scene," he said.

About 70 people attended the service at the cathedral, which is a 20 minutes' drive from the DNC host site at the Wells Fargo Center.

Archbishop Chaput is in Poland for World Youth Day. The U.S. bishops chose him as one of the 13 U.S.bishops to serve as a catechist.

Our mission is the truth. Join us!

Your monthly donation will help our team continue reporting the truth, with fairness, integrity, and fidelity to Jesus Christ and his Church.