Faith Matters

Sermon notes

Pope Francis delivers his speech during his weekly general audience, in St Peter's Square at the Vatican on last month. Audiences in the square are suspended until September, as the Pope scales back his programme for the summer

:: PAPAL SUMMER: The Vatican has confirmed that Pope Francis's Wednesday general audiences will be suspended during July and will resume in August in the Paul VI Hall.

Other audiences will also be suspended, as the Pope scales back his activities for the summer. Morning Mass with groups of faithful in the chapel at Sanctae Marthae, where he lives, will also be suspended during July and August.

::PRAYER WORKS: A day of prayer for a peaceful Twelfth has been organised for July 11 at three different churches in Belfast.

It follows a similar effort last year and will run from 10am to 4pm at three different locations: St Finnian's Church on Cregagh Road in the east of the city; Shankill Methodist Church, on the corner of Berlin Street; and Malone Presbyterian Church at the corner of Lisburn Road and Balmoral Avenue in the south of the city.

Brother David Jardine of Interdenominational Divine Healing Ministries, one of the organisers, said he was convinced that prayer works.

"Last year there was a day of prayer on July 11 on the same theme, and police said it was the quietest Twelfth for years," he said.

"Prayer definitely changes things."

Brother David said that “someone will lead each hour, but most of the time will be spent in silent prayer".

The prayer sessions are designed to allow people to come and go.

:: BUILD RELATIONSHIPS: The Community Relations Council has called for everyone to work to ensure a peaceful summer.

Peter Osborne, its chairman, said that many people "within communities, the police and emergency services" carried "a heavy burden at this time of year, to keep people safe, manage tensions, and help others, especially young people, make good rather than unwise choices".

"There are no inevitabilities and whether we have a peaceful or troublesome summer will be defined by the choices people make," he said.

Mr Osborne said he was certain that "efforts to protect and preserve relationships will pay dividends in the future".

"All people involved, in any capacity during the summer, have a duty together to build relationships not undermine them, for the good of all communities and Northern Ireland as a whole," he said.

"There is too much to be gained for the future for everyone."

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