BRIDGEPORT— In response to national priest sexual abuse, Bishop Frank J. Caggiano will lead a Holy Hour with Rosary and a Mass of Reparation and Purification on the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, Saturday, September 15th, at the Cathedral of St. Augustine, 399 Washington Avenue in Bridgeport.
The day will begin with a Holy Hour at 9:30 am followed by Mass celebrated by Bishop Caggiano and diocesan priests at 10:30 am. The bishop has asked all priests throughout the diocese to attend, and the Mass is open to the public.
“During this time of trial, we must come together as a family of faith and beg the Lord for forgiveness and to offer reparation for the sins committed by priests, bishops and any member of the Church, especially the depraved sins against children and the vulnerable. It is also a time to ask God to heal those who have been wounded by sin, to turn our hearts away from anything that is evil and to renew our commitment to holiness,” said the bishop in a letter to priests.
The bishop said he hopes that the Mass is “the first tangible step towards renewing confidence and trust in the Church for many of our faithful. I invite all faithful to join me and accompany one another during this time of sadness and anger, and to strengthen one another in our Catholic faith.”
The bishop has issued the first in a series of letters that over the next few months will outline real, concrete, administrative, spiritual and pastoral actions designed to achieve the highest level of transparency and accountability.
The letters will address the ongoing needs both of survivors of sexual abuse and the good priests who remain faithful to their vocation.
The bishop said that it is his sincere hope that these measures will help foster a spirit of reparation and conversion in the lives of all clerics and throughout the diocesan Church.
“Further recognizing that all of us in the community of the faithful will have unique healing needs in these difficult times, there will be additional spiritual initiatives,” he said. “With these measures we will begin to restore confidence in Church leadership on all levels and to bring healing and reconciliation to our Church.”
In his letter to priests, the bishop also instructed them to recite the Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel at the end of each and every Mass celebrated in the diocese, beginning on the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows. The prayer will be said immediately before the recessional hymn is sung.
“Christ has conquered sin and death, but we are still in the midst of a spiritual battle. For that reason, I would like the Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel recited,” said the bishop. “I believe that the Church is facing a moment of crisis that demands honesty and repentance from the bishops and decisive action to ensure that these failures will never happen again.”
He has asked pastors to celebrate a local Mass of Reparation in their parishes no later than October 31, 2018. In the coming weeks, the bishop will announce additional spiritual initiatives and administrative measures to address the sexual abuse scandal in a spirit of transparency and accountability. A complete list is being published on the diocesan website as masses are scheduled. Click here to learn more.