File photo/Gregory A. Shemitz
Bishop John Barres is calling on all the faithful of the Diocese of Rockville Centre to join him in prayer, fasting and abstinence next week “for survivors of abuse and to pray for the reform, purification and sanctification of the Church in all areas and in all of her members.”
In a letter sent to all priests of the diocese on September 6, Bishop Barres said that the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on Friday, September 14 and the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, September 15, present a unique opportunity for such prayer and fasting.
On Friday, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Bishop Barres will engage in prayer, fasting and abstinence in reparation for the sins of abuse and for the intention of prayer for the survivors of abuse. “The Good Friday experience of fast and abstinence is an exemplary practice and one very appropriate for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.”
He invites all bishops, priests, deacons, religious and lay people in the Diocese who are able, to join him in this commitment.
On Saturday, September 15, the bishop asks all Catholics to pray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary for these intentions, focusing on the Fifth Mystery, the Crucifixion. He invites everyone “to meditate on Our Lady of Sorrows at the Foot of the Cross interceding for survivors of abuse and interceding for the reform, purification and sanctification of the Church we love.”
In addition, parishes have been asked to organize specific initiatives, such as Holy Hours and communal prayer, on these days.