I would like to share with all of you the following statement released today by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, regarding the recent events taking place in Iran and Iraq.

“In the face of the escalating tensions with Iran, we must pray urgently that our world’s leaders will pursue dialogue and seek peace. Please join me in asking our Blessed Mother Mary, the Queen of Peace, to intercede, that Jesus Christ might strengthen the peacemakers, comfort the suffering, and protect the innocent and all those in harm’s way, especially the men and women in our military and diplomatic service.”

Along with my brother bishops, I ask the people of this diocese to pray for peace everywhere, and today especially in the nations of Iraq and Iran. Together, we join in the hope of a great future for the people of these nations that suffer from persistent turmoil, that they may see days of peace ahead.

May God bless you all,

Most Reverend Richard E. Pates Apostolic Administrator, Diocese of Joliet