Pope Francis invites us, this Thursday 14 May, to join with believers of all religions and people of goodwill in a Day of Prayer, Fasting and Works of Charity.

The Holy Father calls us to unite ourselves to an initiative which comes from the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity. Cardinal Miguel Ayuso Guixot, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, communicates Pope Francis’s wish in a letter dated 6 May  (PDF) suggesting it is an opportunity to “witness to the greatness of faith in God that unites divided hearts and elevates the human soul.” The Communique from the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity can also be downloaded.

Consecrating this day to the Lord is of a piece with the practice, recently introduced on Thursdays in England and Wales, of one of our Bishops celebrating Mass for NHS workers and carers in all settings. These Masses take place a little ahead of the 8.00 p.m. applause: we pray in thanksgiving for the courage and generosity of these front-line workers, asking the Lord to sustain them in their vital work. Mass this Thursday will be celebrated by Bishop Robert Byrne CO, Bishop of Hexham & Newcastle; and will be live-streamed at 7.00 pm on their YouTube channel.