Pastors share Easter prayers

As the area’s Christians prepare for the most sacred time of year, the area’s faithful bow their heads and send their prayers skyward.

So, what are the region’s religious leaders praying for this Easter?

Peter Vial, pastor for Davis Memorial Presbyterian Church, is praying for a deep sense of serenity.

“Certainly, (I’m praying for) peace and Americans coming together and moving forward as a nation on some of the important things we need to figure out – violence and strengthening families,” Vial said on Good Friday. “I suppose I’m praying for the the opposite of tragedy. Over the past year, we’ve had financial tragedy, we’ve had blood-spilling tragedy.

“There’s tragedy every day right here in Randolph County,” he continued. “We’re constantly called to work on strengthening a sense of peace in our nation as well as our local area. If you pick up the paper, it seems there’s a story about a drug bust everyday. That’s symptomatic of something – that’s symptomatic of an economic reality, that’s symptomatic of family issues, all of which can be connected.”

Fr. Ron Nikodem, priest at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Buckhannon, says he will also be praying for peace – as well as for the three people, called catechumens, who plan to join the Catholic church on Easter Sunday.

“Of course, we’ll be praying for the poor and the downhearted… for world peace, and certainly we would be praying for the victims of the shooting in Newton, Conn. as well.”

Jamie Estep, pastor for the Elkins Family Worship Center and the head of Randolph County Ministerial Association, is praying for the Christian church itself.

“The big thing with me is just praying for the Church in America today,” Estep said. “I am a pastor that 100 percent believes in the Church, and I am excited to be a voice that gets to speak on behalf of the church. I see the church as the body of Christ that will rise up and be a central value of a city and of a family and of a community in these days in which we live,” he added.

“We always pray for all of our brothers and sisters in the Christian church and the Christian faith,” said Jess Felici, a pastor for the Mountain Lutheran Parish, which is comprised of five churches in Pendleton and Pocahontas counties.

“But tonight, on Good Friday, we’re going to pray the Bidding Prayer, and the Bidding Prayer sets us up for Easter because we pray for the Jewish people and people don’t share our faith in Jesus Christ and the whole of creation, as well as all of the people in public office.”

According to his Twitter account, the prayer of the newly anointed Catholic pontiff, Frances I, is that people all across the world “enter more and more into God’s logic of love and self-giving” this Holy Week.

“Being with Jesus demands that we go out from ourselves, and from living a tired and habitual faith,” the Pope wrote Wednesday.