As the deeply troubling conflict in Ukraine continues into its fourth week, our Holy Father Pope Francis has expressed his deep concern for peace and compassion for the people of Ukraine, and he has also announced his intention to consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary during a penitential prayer service in St. Peter’s Basilica on Friday, March 25.
- Immaculate Conception will include the consecration in our prayers at the 8:30 a.m. Mass on Friday, March 25.
- St. Joseph Cathedral Downtown will also celebrate the consecration at noon on Friday, March 25 (same time as the Vatican)
It is vital that our prayers be deepened and strengthened so that the Lord’s merciful Providence deliver the world from the scourge of war and that all leaders be inspired by the Spirit’s wisdom to turn toward fostering and building God’s peace – which is the only true, lasting peace – now and always.
Specific practices that might be done by our parishioners can include:
- Regular communal praying of the Rosary for peace.
- The Scriptural Rosary for Justice and Peace offered by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops might be an option, also (https://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/prayers-and-devotions/rosaries/scriptural-rosary-for-justice-and-peace).
- Considering continued fasting for peace during Wednesdays of Lent.
- The diocesan prayer for peace written by Bishop Clarence Issenmann during the crises of the early 1960s is beautiful and serves as the foundation for this 21st century prayer for peace:
Prayer for Peace
Almighty and Eternal Father, God of wisdom and mercy,
Whose power exceeds all force of arms
and Whose protection is the strong defense of all who trust in Thee,
enlighten and direct, we beseech Thee,
those who bear the heavy responsibility of government
throughout the world in these days of stress and trial.
Grant them the strength to stand firm for what is right
and the skill to dispel the fears that foment discord;
inspire them to be mindful of the horrors of war for victor and vanquished alike,
to seek conciliation in truth and patience,
to see in every person a brother or sister,
that the people of all nations may, in our day,
enjoy the blessings of a just and lasting peace.
Conscious of our own unworthiness, we implore Thy mercy
on a sinful world in the name of Thy Divine Son, the Prince of Peace,
and through the intercession of His Blessed Mother and all the saints.
Queen of All Saints, pray for us
Queen of the Holy Rosary, pray for us
Queen of Peace, pray for us