By Kiply Lukan Yaworski, Catholic Saskatoon News
A candlelight prayer service was held on the First Friday of Lent in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon to pray for all victims and survivors of abuse, establishing what will become an annual event.
The candlelight prayer service at the Cathedral of the Holy Family included the Stations of the Cross, with reflections from the perspective of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and prayers at each of the 14 stations by Bishop Mark Hagemoen that included praying for all victims and survivors of abuse.
A time of Eucharistic Adoration followed, with those in attendance invited to bring up candles an to offer prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. As well, the bishop anointed all who came forward to receive the sacrament of healing during the time of Adoration.
“Praise to you Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, source of all consolation and hope. By Your Son’s dying and rising, He remains our light in every darkness, our strength in every weakness. Be the refuge and guardian of all who suffer from abuse and violence. Comfort them and send healing for their wounds of body, soul and spirit. Rescue them from bitterness and shame and refresh them with Your love. Heal the brokenness in all victims of abuse and revive the spirits of all who lament this sin. Help us to follow Jesus in drawing good from evil, life from death. Make us one with you in your love for justice as we deepen our respect for the dignity of every human life. Giver of Peace, make us one in celebrating Your praise both now and forever, Amen.”
– Prayer by Bishop John F. Kinney, Bishop of Saint Cloud, MN ©2002, Diocese of St. Cloud, which was offered at the start of the Stations of the Cross Feb. 24 in Saskatoon.
“We dedicate these prayers for any victims or survivors of abuse anywhere in the world and those who have dealt with this, and those who are continuing to deal with this,” said the bishop at the start of the service.
“We pray that the church and our world will be healed of any threat to human dignity, and that this Lenten season will be a time when we can walk with the Lord to realize that dignity more fully.”
“We are doing this in solidarity with other dioceses throughout the world,” noted Bishop Hagemoen. “This was a commitment form our Safeguarding Committee and our College of Consultors here in the diocese.”
Find the diocese’s safeguarding commitments and policies online at: Safer Church, Stronger Communities
Prayer for Healing for Victims / Survivors of Abuse concluding the Saskatoon prayer service:
“God of endless love, ever caring, ever strong, always present, always just: You gave Your only Son to save us by the blood of His cross. Gentle Jesus, Shepherd of Peace, join to your own suffering the pain of all who have been hurt in body, mind and spirit by those who betrayed the trust placed in them. Hear the cries of our brothers and sisters who have been gravely harmed, and the cries of those who love them. Soothe their restless hearts with ope, steady their shaken spirits with faith. Grant them justice for their cuase, enlightened by your truth. Holy Spirit, Comforter of hearts, heal Your people’s wounds and transform brokenness into wholeness. Grant us the courage and wisdom humility and grace, to act with justice. Breathe wisdom into our prayers and labours. Grant that all harmed by abuse may find peace in justice. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.” – www.USCCB.org
Kiply Lukan Yaworski is the communications coordinator for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon – rcdos.ca