June 3, 2013

VATICAN CITY – Vatican officials are making strategic phone calls to some of the world's most far-flung dioceses, trying to verify that in each of the world's inhabited time zones there will be an organized hour of Eucharistic Adoration coinciding with 5 to 6 p.m. Rome time June 2.

The Vatican is trying to organize a global hour of prayer around the Eucharist "for the first time in the history of the Church," said Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, the office organizing events for the Year of Faith.

Pope Francis will preside over adoration and benediction in St. Peter's Basilica beginning at 5 p.m. June 2, the feast of the Body and Blood of the Lord.

To celebrate at the same time as the pope, Catholics in Mumbai would begin at 8:30 p.m., those in New York would begin at 11 a.m., in Alberta at 9 a.m., in Honolulu at 5 a.m. and at 1 a.m. June 3 in Sydney.

In at least two time zones – Greenwich Mean Time minus 10 hours and GMT minus two hours – there is little hope for participation, Fisichella said; both time zones cover vast areas of uninhabited ocean.

The prayer intention for the first half hour of adoration, Fisichella said, will be for the Church and its mission of mercy. the second for the needs of those who suffer, including victims of war, the unemployed, the sick, immigrants and prisoners.

Dioceses are free to designate whatever prayer intentions they wish, he said.