Turn to Prayer

Dear Friends,

I write the morning after leading our prayer vigil of reparation and petition. We gathered before Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament asking for His mercy upon His Church in this moment of profound crisis, anguish, pain and suffering. We prayed for reparation especially of the sins of bishops and priests, to petition for a restoration to holiness through purification, and for healing for all victims and their families. I thank everyone who joined us for this prayer vigil. Prayer is the primary way to accompany all reforms in the restoration of our Church.

After the vigil, Saint Francis of Assisi came to my mind. He is one of my favorite Saints.

Jesus called him literally, saying, “Go, Francis, and repair my house, which as you see is falling into ruin.” Francis looked at the dilapidated church he was praying in and immediately set to repair it. But, of course, the Lord’s instruction involved a far greater repair, the repair of the moral and devotional lives of His people. With Saint Francis as an example, may we enter into this work so necessary today.

We cannot lose sight that at the core of this effort are the victims and their families who have suffered so gravely. We must help them, assist them, be a voice for them and not rest until all the issues are resolved. Our efforts must include additional practical steps with the help of laity skilled in the sciences. We need to turn to prayer and return to the spiritual resources of the Gospel, the Mass and the lives of the Saints. And, we must examine the full range of causes that led to where we are and not simply look at only one of the causes.

Bishop Robert Barron did a short video interview, a Q&A, in which he discusses his insights into so much of what is happening. You can access it at: http://bit.ly/2MUFQrP . His webpage also has resources that can be helpful at this moment, https://www.wordonfire.org . One of our parishioners forwarded a link to a powerful homily, which I also recommend. It can be found at: https://straphaelcrystal.org/homily/august-19-2018 .

The Pennsylvania Office of Victim Advocate, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Office for Child and Youth Protection have joined to share resources and provide support to survivors and parishes in the wake of the release of the grand jury report. Their respective contact information is as follows: Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape 888-772-7227; Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Office for Child and Youth Protection 888-800-8780; Keystone Crisis Intervention Team 215-343-6543.

We are acquiring Prayer Cards of Saint Michael with his prayer in order to make them available to you. We will begin saying this prayer at the end of Mass before the final hymn. Most of us remember it well. May I encourage all of us to pray it daily for our Church ~ Saint Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

God bless you, God love you,

Monsignor McCulken

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