Church at Mexico-US Border Organizes Prayer Day

Marks 1-Month Anniversary of Shooting Death of Priest

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MATAMOROS, Mexico, JULY 29, 2011 ( A 24-hour prayer event in the Mexican Diocese of Matamoros, on the border with Texas, will respond to the situation of violence and insecurity that is plaguing the region because of the war on drugs.

The 24-hour period will stretch across next Tuesday and Wednesday. It will mark the first month anniversary of the death of Father Marco Durán, who was caught in the crossfire of two rival drug trafficking gangs.

Matamoros borders with the southern tip of Texas, across from Brownsville.

“The day is a petition to God to re-establish peace,” said Father Margarito Salazar Cárdenas, chancellor of the Cathedral of Matamoros. He added that it is about “not living in an environment of uncertainty, violence and insecurity where we cannot go out of our homes.”

The cathedral community, the priests of Matamoros, the community of St. Robert Bellarmine (where Father Durán was parish priest), and other parish groups are among those organizing the prayer day.

The “24 Hours of Prayer for Peace” will begin on Tuesday at 8 p.m. and will end Wednesday at the same time. A Mass will be concelebrated by the priests of Matamoros (as the new bishop, Bishop Ruy Rendón Leal, just appointed July 16, has not yet taken possession of his See.)

The Blessed Sacrament will be exposed on the altar of the cathedral throughout the day.

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