Chile: Catholic Church united in prayer for trapped miners

Bishop Alejandro Goic

Bishop Alejandro Goic

As the rescue of the trapped miners of San José draws near, Bishop Alejandro Goic, president of the Chilean Bishops Conference has appealed for prayers for the safe return of the men to their families.

Thirty three miners have been trapped in hot and cramped conditions about 2,300 feet underground,  since the mine collapsed on 5 August. The first contact was made with rescuers on 22 August when a drill bit pierced the stuffy dungeon's ceiling. Since then rescuers have managed to pass down food, medical supplies, playing cards,and  dominoes.  Mario Gomez, who has been a miner since he was 12, has become the group's spiritual director. He requested a crucifix and statues and has a made a shrine where the men can pray.

After a visit to the to San José mine today, Monsignor Goic, said he saw the "spirit of faith and trust in the God of the miners and their families."

In a message he has urged churches across Chile to hold prayer vigils, Exposition, Rosaries, Biblical reflections and Lectio Divina, in particular  from Wednesday, when the difficult rescue operation begins, until the last miner is safely at ground level.

Bishop Alejandro will also be celebrating a special daily Mass at Santiago Cathedral and is appealing for the entire community to attend.

He said: "This is a propitious time to bring the whole Church together in this prayer of faith and hope."

Source: Chilean Bishops Conference/CM News

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