Regarding “Novena for Priests: May 31 is Day One for Pentecost Project” (May 25-31):
I have distributed more than 1,000 copies of the Novena for Priests, which I obtained from http://www.novenaforpriests.com Many .priests are truly appreciative of this initiative to pray for them across the world. In our parish we are praying it, along with our Novena to the Holy Spirit, in preparation for the feast of Pentecost.
I think we could extend this praying for priests by encouraging people to pray daily for them, even after the novena is completed. I have requested, especially the young, to offer three Hail Marys at the completion of the Mass, for the priest who celebrated the Mass they attended. Many are doing this. Without priests, many parishes across the globe are shutting down. This pleases Satan a great deal as the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and confession, are not available that easily for the faithful.
I thank and praise God for the movement of the Holy Spirit in our Church. The Holy Father is truly a great inspiration to all of us, for he is a man of intense prayer and holiness. I love my Catholic Church and would do anything in my power to bring many to understand its richness, its teachings and especially the wonderful grace of meeting Jesus in the sacraments.
I think [the Novena for Priests] is the best common-sense approach for healing the hurt of the scandals. My extra concern is that I am not hearing (from the pulpit) concern for the victims and their families.
I hear excuses for the clergy and blame of the news media. My former pastor dumps the situation as something that the news media stirred. He calls it solely anti-Catholic and anti-priest bashing. We lay people are hurting as much as the priests because our beautiful Church has been damaged, and we don't like seeing our own hurt.
The bishops who met in Dallas last June didn't really seek a corrective. I saw mostly a defense mechanism. One of the participants at that meeting was surprised at the aloof attitude of the bishops. So, as I see it, there is a broad swatch of damage needing healing.