14 August 2014

Bishops Silva and Paprocki: Priests may use the Mass for Persecuted Christians this Sunday

The Roman Missal contains texts for the offering of the Holy Mass for a great many intentions, from a prayer in thanksgiving for the gift of human life to a petition for a happy death (and nearly every occasion in between in the life of the Church and of the world).

These texts for ritual Masses, as they are named, are not used very often because, on the one hand, many days in the liturgical calendar already contain the memorials of the Saints and, on the other hand, because priests do not often think about them. Among these texts is that of a Mass for celebrated for persecuted Christians.

This Sunday, the day on which His Excellency the Most Reverend Richard E. Pates, Bishop of Des Moines and chairman of the Committee for International Justice and Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, that we in the United States of America pray for the persecuted Christians in Iraq this Sunday, priests in the Hawaiian islands and in central Illinois may use the texts from the Mass for Persecuted Christians together with the readings for the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

His Excellency the Most Reverend Clarence "Larry" Silva, Bishop of Honolulu, granted this permission in a letter of August 13, 2014; His Excellency the Most Reverend Thomas John Paprocki, Bishop of Springfield in Illinois, granted this same permission in an e-mail message of August 14, 2014. I hope other Bishops will also grant this permission in their dioceses.

Both Bishops also kindly referenced the homily I preached this past weekend, which I hope others will find helpful for their own preaching. If you haven't been following my continually updated post with links to news stories regarding the persecution of Iraqi Christians, I encourage you to do so.

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