From our pastor, Father Neil Herlihy
We celebrate Memorial Day this Monday and we remember in a special way those men and women in the armed forces who have made the supreme sacrifice in defense of our nation. Some of our deceased Veterans were military chaplains who faithfully served the spiritual needs of our men and women in the armed forces and also served the spiritual needs of their families. Many of our service men and women died in wars and in terrorist attacks. They sacrificed their lives and their freedom and helped make it possible for us to enjoy our lives and our freedom. They were prematurely separated from family members and friends, and a grateful nation pays them homage and respect.
The following prayer for Memorial Day was provided by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
HEAVENLY FATHER, ON THIS MEMORIAL DAY,
WE PRAY FOR THOSE WHO COURAGEOUSLY LAID DOWN THEIR LIVES
FOR THE CAUSE OF FREEDOM.
MAY THE EXAMPLE OF THEIR SACRIFICE INSPIRE IN US
THE SELFLESS LOVE OF YOUR SON, OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
BLESS THE FAMILIES OF OUR FALLEN TROOPS, AND FILL THEIR HOMES
AND THEIR LIVES WITH YOUR STRENGTH AND PEACE.
IN UNION WITH PEOPLE OF GOODWILL OF EVERY NATION,
EMBOLDEN US TO ANSWER THE CALL TO WORK FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE AND THUS,
SEEK AN END TO VIOLENCE AND CONFLICT AROUND THE GLOBE.
WE PRAY THROUGH CHRIST OUR LORD. AMEN.
The media outlet, “Catholic News Agency” (CNA), recently reported that Pope Francis, in his concern for peace, stated that God would support all those who work daily to combat evil with good through words and deeds of fraternity, respect, encounter and solidarity. Our Holy Father prayed that the Lord would strengthen government officials and leaders with a spirit that is “noble, upright, steadfast and courageous in seeking peace through dialogue and negotiation.” Pope Francis also stated, “May the Lord enable all of us to be peacemakers wherever we find ourselves, in our families, in school, at work, in the community, in every setting.”
As we reflect on these words of Our Holy Father, and as we enjoy this day, we are reminded to truly appreciate our precious faith and freedom which we should never take for granted. In addition, on this day we are urged to make time for prayer. We can join our brothers and sisters who pray for the repose of the souls of these men and women who have gone before us, and for the consolation of their family members and friends.