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World Day of Prayer service to be hosted at Our Lady of Hope March 6

International inter-church initiative returns with the theme: Rise! Take Your Mat and Walk

Rise! Take Your Mat and Walk, is the theme of this year's World Day of Prayer (WDP) and will be commemorated March 6 with a special service at Our Lady of Hope parish. 

WDP is an international, inter-church event that was introduced 98 years ago in pursuit of justice, peace and reconciliation. 

It is celebrated by more than 170 countries, including 1,150 Canadian communities, using content provided by the host country of that particular year. 

Zimbabwe, one of the more southern countries in Africa, has prepared the service this year with a focus on the republic's fight for independence.

The theme "Rise! Take Your Mat and Walk" speaks of Jesus' encounter with a person who, positioned for healing, had not acted upon the opportunities given, according to the WDP website. Found in the reading John 5:2-9a. 

“The action verbs suggest that we should not be afraid to act on the word of God. God is offering us the steps for personal and social transformation," the article went on to say. 

"The time to rise up has come. This is the time for change." 

World Day of Prayer is coordinated in Canada by the Women's Inter-Church Council of Canada, one of the founders of the prayer movement. 

Offerings received throughout the day are used in the creation of project grants to empower women and youth in and beyond Canada, according to the greatest need, said the release. More than 2.5 million dollars has been distributed in 35 years. 

A local World Day of Prayer service will be held at Our Lady of Hope parish (591 Brennan Rd.) Friday, March 6 at 1 p.m.

Find more information on World Day of Prayer here.