Baltimore Archbishop urges faithful to pray for Pope’s recovery

.- Several U.S. bishops have encouraged their faithful to pray for Pope John Paul II.

Doctors performed a tracheotomy on the 84-year-old pope yesterday to ease his breathing problems. The Vatican says the operation was completed successfully but it will likely require a minimum hospital stay of two weeks.

The archbishop of Baltimore, William Cardinal Keeler, encouraged all priests, religious and laity in his diocese to join him in praying for the Pope John Paul’s “full recovery and timely return to ministry."

Adam Cardinal Maida, archbishop of Detroit, called on his archdiocese to keep Pope John Paul II in their prayers.

"Father of all life, we ask your special blessing and protection for our Holy Father on earth," Maida's prayer said. "According to your will, restore him to the service of your church and keep us all in your peace."

Maida, a Polish-American spiritual leader of the more than one million Catholics, is a longtime friend of the pope.

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