Here at home, I invite religious leaders throughout our city and state to join me, parishioners of the Archdiocese of Baltimore and all people of good will for an inter-religious and ecumenical prayer service on Sunday, August 24, at 2 p.m. at the Basilica in downtown Baltimore. Though we may differ in our beliefs, we are united by a common desire for peace and by our belief in the power of prayer. Therefore, we will come together to pray for an end to the suffering, violence, and religious persecution taking place in Iraq. And we will pray for the individuals and families that have been most directly impacted by the terrible acts that have been committed in the name of religion. During the prayer service, we will also hold a special collection to assist the efforts of CRS, which estimates it will provide humanitarian aid to some 30,000 Iraqi families over next six months.