Dear Confreres, Sisters, and friends,
Greetings as I travel to the World Youth Day in Panama. I am writing to all of you today to request your urgent prayers for our Confreres and for the people of Congo, Kenya, and Zimbabwe. In recent days, all three countries are experiencing very difficult and dangerous situations.
As you are aware, the Democratic Republic of Congo recently held elections on December 30, 2018. The results are being contested. The election has already been marked by violence in some regions of the country, and the announcement of the results may well occasion greater violence. We pray for the victims of violence and intimidation. May a peaceful and just resolution to the elections prevail!
As well, I am sure you have heard about the terrorist attack on a hotel and office complex in Nairobi, Kenya. The full results of this attack are not yet known, but it is clear that many families have lost loved ones, and the country is in mourning as well. We pray for these families and many others who live in the uncertainty and fear provoked by these attacks.
In recent days, we are beginning to receive news about violence and repression in Zimbabwe. The government has cut off the internet and social media so communication is particularly difficult. We do not know the full extent of what it is happening, but it is the poor who suffer the most. Groceries, fuel for generators and vehicles, and other necessities are unavailable, or too expensive for ordinary families. This has led to greater acts of violence. Please pray for our confreres there, for their ministry for justice and with the poor, and for all the people.
In the communion of prayer with the Holy Father, Pope Francis, and with these suffering people, let us work for justice which leads to true and lasting peace.
In Christ our Redeemer,
Fr. Michael Brehl, CSsR.