Pope encourages Catholics to join ecumenical prayer campaign

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — In a video recorded on the phone of the Anglican archbishop of Canterbury, Pope Francis encouraged Catholics to join the worldwide “Thy Kingdom Come” prayer campaign May 30-June 9.

Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury, spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, used his phone to record the video message by Pope Francis when the two met at the Vatican April 11.

Archbishop Welby and Archbishop John Sentamu of York started the Ascension-to-Pentecost campaign among Anglicans in England in 2016 to encourage their faithful to focus for 11 days on praying that more people would come to know Jesus.

Since then, the prayer campaign has gone ecumenical and global.

“We are praying that the Spirit would inspire and equip us to share the good news of Jesus Christ with our friends and families, our communities and networks,” according to the www.thykingdomcome.global website.

Archbishop Welby asked Pope Francis to comment on praying for the help of the Holy Spirit.

“‘Come, Holy Spirit,’ this is the cry of all Christians” in the days leading up to Pentecost, the pope said.

Human beings run the risk of having hearts that “become smaller and closed,” he said, but if a person invites the Holy Spirit in, it’s like one’s heart takes a great big breath and expands.

In the full video, Pope Francis also prayed that the Holy Spirit would “expand our hearts and the heart of the church, from within, so that we could make decisions in obedience and with farsightedness and peace.”

By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service.