Brothers and Sisters,
I am so grateful with the support and the comments you have sent or texted since I preached last week about the present struggles of the Church. We are truly one Body in Christ, and so where there is suffering anywhere, we all experience it. One of the blessings of Christian community is that, in addition to the pain of bearing suffering, we are granted the support of our fellows during times of crisis and pain.
I want to let you know about the letter that Bishop Zaidan recently sent to his clergy and religious. He invites all parishioners and clergy, it addition to religious, to a period of prayer and penance. He requests that each parish in the Eparchy offer a three day period of prayer, fasting and penance beginning Tuesday, September 11 and concluding Thursday, September 13. He further requests that each of us commit to praying the rosary together with family or the parish, and that we fast each day in the same way we do during Lent. He also asks that each parish offer an opportunity for Eucharistic Adoration.
Here is the schedule that will take place next week. All are invited to attend each day, but if you cannot attend all three days, please attend at least one of these days and in addition offer the rosary and your personal fasting. The faithful are invited to the Sacrament of Penance, so if possible, please go to Confession either at the parish or local Latin parish. I have attempted to offer a mix between daytime and evening time. I will offer additional time for confessions on Sunday, after Mass, should that be helpful.
9/11 Tues, 12:00-1:00 pm, (Abouna+ Deacons) : Mass/Rosary/Confessions available
9/12 Weds, 7:00-8:00 pm, (Deacons alone) : Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament/Rosary
9/13 Thurs, 7:00-8:00 pm, (Deacons alone) : Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament/Rosary
To quote Sayedna: “It is becoming ever more clear that the Church is gripped by a personal force of evil. In speaking of evil, the Lord said “[this kind of evil] can only be driven out by prayer and fasting.” (Mark 9:29). Let us offer prayer and fasting for the Church.”
May God bless each of us as we endeavor to assist the Church, the victims, and all involved.
In Christ, Abouna Chris