Anne-Marie Welsh

The Catholic Church observes March 25 as the Solemnity of the Annunciation
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      In union with the Holy Father Pope Francis, the Most Rev. Lawrence T. Persico, bishop of Erie, has called for a day of prayer on Wed., March 25, the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. The day includes an invitation for brothers and sisters of all Christian denominations to offer the Lord’s Prayer at noon.

      The bishop is asking people to set aside time to pray for all those affected by the pandemic including government leaders, researchers, healthcare workers, the sick, our communities, those suffering financial hardship, and those who have died, as well as their families.

     “As a Christian community, we must intercede on behalf of each other,” Bishop Persico said. To that end, he also is inviting all Christians to participate in the ecumenical invitation issued by Pope Francis to offer the Our Father (the Lord’s Prayer) in unison on March 25 at noon. Bishop Persico will lead the prayer in a livestream available through the Diocese of Erie’s Facebook page at or on its webpage,

     The annunciation is a Marian feast during which the Catholic Church commemorates the moment when the Blessed Virgin Mary agreed to become the mother of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. A litany, a special prayer that can be prayed individually or shared by those gathered in a home, will be posted at

     “The actions and prayers of Pope Francis have been exemplary during this time,” Bishop Persico said. “He has said that we want to respond to the pandemic ‘with the universality of prayer, compassion and tenderness.’”

     After praying the Lord’s Prayer, Bishop Persico will continue the livestream by leading a rosary for the intentions noted above.

     The Diocese of Erie continues to update resources for prayer helpful during the pandemic at