Washington — Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has joined Pope Francis and the office for the Synod of Bishops in encouraging a universal day of prayer Sept. 28 for the upcoming synod on the family.
The extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family will take place Oct. 5-19 at the Vatican.
Kurtz, head of the archdiocese of Louisville, Ky., called the synod as "an important moment for the church and for families."
"I welcome wholeheartedly this day of prayer for the synod fathers and for all who will participate," he said in a statement Friday. "As the church turns with special attention to the family, may God's plan for marriage and the family be a source of hope and healing for all."
For the day of prayer, Catholics are encouraged to say a prayer to the Holy Family written by Pope Francis. Intercessory prayers which may be used during Masses, other liturgical settings, and in family or personal prayer are available at the USCCB's website.
Catholics are also being encouraged to pray the rosary each day of the synod.
Kurtz will be attending the synod as part of a U.S. delegation of bishops including Cardinals Timothy Dolan of New York and Donald Wuerl of Washington and Archbishop William Skurla of the Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh.
Prayer cards with Pope Francis' Holy Family prayer are available for purchase from the USCCB.