September 23, 2018

Saint Maurice Parish Spiritual Bouquet: The following gift of prayers and devotions was offered by members of our parish family for the benefit of the living and deceased victims of clergy sexual abuse here in the diocese of Pittsburgh. We pray that our merciful and just Lord will hear these prayers and apply the graces they obtained to those in most need of our prayerful and heartfelt assistance. Rosary– 117, Our Father– 188, Act of Fasting– 21, Act of Penance– 12, Novena/Litany– 20, Holy Communion– 62, Stations of the Cross– 21, Divine Mercy Chaplet– 50, Spiritual Work of Mercy– 24, Corporal Work of Mercy– 29, Visit to the Blessed Sacrament– 35, Prayer of a Burning Candle– 26, Individual Decade of the Rosary– 40, Individual Mass Intention– 21, Prayer of Saint Michael the Archangel– 90, Other– 26. Total acts/prayers offered for the living and deceased victims of abuse – 782

Bishop Calls for a Year of Repentance: Bishop Zubik recently announced a Year of Repentance to begin with September 19 and conclude on August 15, 2019, the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary, as a sign of hope and healing for victims and for renewal in the Church. The Bishop asked that the clergy collectively fast, abstain and make a holy hour on all the forthcoming Ember Days, which are traditional days of prayer and fasting (specifically, September 19, 21, 22; December 19, 21, 22; March 13, 15, 16; and June 12, 14, and 15). Additionally, Bishop Zubik has extended an invitation to all the faithful to join the clergy in these acts of prayer and penance. Thus, the year of repentance is open to all individuals as we, the Church of Pittsburgh, continue to pray that the Lord will come to our aid and help heal the wounds created by our crimes and sins.

Many will question why we are all called to repentance when the sins and crimes committed were by specific men and not the entire community. I must say that while I understand this question, it is disheartening to me that so many ask it. We are One Faith, One Body, joined together by the One Bread and One Lord. Truly, mystically, we are united as the Body of Christ. I could point to many passages of scripture to highlight this truth, but for now I will offer only Romans 12:4-5, “For as in one body we have many parts, and all the parts do not have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ and individually parts of one another.” Also, I offer the words of Saint John Chrysostom, “Yet where I am, there you are too, and where you are, I am. For we are a single body, and the body cannot be separated from the head nor the head from the body. You are my fellow citizens, my fathers, my brothers, my sons, my limbs, my body.”

Our collective healing will only occur when we realize that we are not individuals disconnected from our brothers, but rather we truly are our brother’s keeper. In Romans chapter 12 we learn, “Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer. Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Do not repay anyone evil for evil; be concerned for what is noble in the sight of all. If possible, on your part, live at peace with all. Do not be conquered by evil but conquer evil with good.”

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