Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Day of Prayer, Fasting set for September 24

By GEORGIA BULLETIN STAFF | Published September 18, 2020

ATLANTA–This year’s National Day of Prayer and Fasting will be Thursday, Sept. 24.

Hosted by ACTS XXIX, a nonprofit Catholic organization based in Detroit, Michigan, the goals of this day are mercy and healing for our country as well as the conversion of our own hearts.

“Looking at all that’s happening in our country right now, it seems we’re in need of a lot of things,” says Father John Riccardo, ACTS XXIX executive director. “Policy and law are crucial, to be sure. But as important as these are, they can’t fix the root problem. The real problem of American culture today is that our hearts are messed up. Only God can fix the human heart, and he loves doing that.”

Many dioceses are participating in the day, including the Archdiocese of Atlanta. The day calls for the faithful to pray for the conversion of hearts and not eat until dinner. 

The idea came from a podcast episode produced by the nonprofit on courage in our society during this time, which received a positive response from listeners. Father Riccardo was later led to Abraham Lincoln’s three presidential proclamations from the 1860s, which called for a national day of prayer and fasting on the last Thursday of September. 

Falling in line with President Lincoln, Father Riccardo picked the same date for this year. He hopes the day will bring together the entire country and people of all faiths for a truly holy day, not focused on social issues. 

“This is not about politics or any particular social movement or even the November election,” said the priest. “This is about asking for God’s mercy on our nation and for the healing of our hearts–all of our hearts, starting with mine.”

For more information on the National Day of Prayer and Fasting, visit