When I returned from my annual retreat January 15, I found on my desk a letter from Bishop Francis Kalabat who is the Bishop of the Catholic Chaldean Diocese of St. Thomas the Apostle here in the United States. As you know, the Chaldean Church is centered in Baghdad and has been under tremendous persecution in Iraq, Syria and all the Middle East from Islamic fundamentalist terrorists, especially ISIS. Christians there are daily being killed or forced out of their homes into a painful and tragic exile.

On January 1st the Chaldean Churches throughout the world began 33 days of praying the rosary to ask Mary to intercede for the Christians in Iraq and Syria. Bishop Kalabat invites me and you and the whole Diocese of Rockville Centre along with all the other dioceses in the United States to join in a nine-day Rosary Novena beginning today,  Sunday, January 25, and ending on Monday February 2.

This blog is the best and quickest way I have to invite all of you to join me in solidarity and communion with Bishop Kalabat and all the Christians suffering in Iraq and Syria. May our prayer to Mary become a holy incense to her, asking her to watch over and protect our brothers and sisters who are one as the Body of Christ, His Church. When one suffers, all suffer. Through Mary’s intercession, May God preserve the Chaldean and all the other Christian Churches in Iraq and Syria and all the Middle East!