Delhi prays together

Daniel R. Pearce

By Daniel R. Pearce, Simcoe Reformer

Delhi came together Friday afternoon to take part in an international day of prayer and to help the oppressed people of Malaysia.

About 100 Delhi residents, mainly women but also school children, came to Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Catholic Church for the event.

Hymns were sung by Grade 5 students from St. Frances Cabrini Catholic School next door, prayers were made, and stories of the struggles of Malaysia were told.

Five churches from the town took part in the annual World Day of Prayer, as they have for many years.

It was the Catholic church's turn this year to play host. Joining its own congregation were members of the congregations of the Anglican, Hungarian Presbyterian, First Baptist and United churches.

"You feel good about welcoming other denominations into your church," said Ethel Reiter, education director at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs. "And they're a great bunch of people to get to know. It promotes community spirit. It's a good feeling."

At one time, the event was attended by women only but that has changed over the years, said organizers.

"It unites women and different churches," said Mary Ann Van Maanen, president of the Delhi Catholic Women's League. "It unites people from various churches, that's the whole thing now."

"Women in any country, they're the ones who want the peace," said Reiter.

Every year a different country is highlighted. This year churches around the world focused on the troubles of Malaysia. At one point, the story of a woman activist from that country was read out, detailing how she tried to help migrant farm workers in Malaysia and ended up in jail for her efforts.

"There's so many people in each country praying for the same purpose. It's very moving to me," said Cheryl Fitch, lay pastor for the Delhi United Church.

The event "raises our awareness of what's going on around the world," Fitch added. "It brings us together in ways we've not been brought together before. We remember we are all one."

A reception was held in the church basement following the service.

Daniel R. Pearce

519-426-3528 ext. 132