From our pastor, Father Neil Herlihy
This Tuesday we mark the seventeenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. We as a nation recall the tragic deaths and injuries that occurred at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and on the fields of Somerset, Pennsylvania.
As a faith community, we will participate on this day in the “World Day of Prayer for Peace” sponsored by the Catholic fraternal organization, the Knights of Columbus. We will celebrate a special Mass for Peace at 7:00 pm at Saint Brigid. Recent terrorist attacks in England and Afghanistan remind us that the world continues to be a very dangerous place. We see evidence of this danger in the news media on a regular basis. The Mass and day of prayer on “9/11” will help us to remember not only the events of that fateful day but also will remind us of the dangers that continue to confront us.
As a way to focus on the events of that day and its aftermath, we are invited to reflect on following extracts from this “Prayer of Remembrance For 9/11” provided by Old St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church of Chicago:
LORD OF MERCY, PRINCE OF PEACE. THIS DATE, 9/11, CARRIES A HEAVY BURDEN OF MEMORY.
THIS DAY DOES NOT PASS IN THE CALENDAR WITHOUT OUR REMEMBERING.
WE REMEMBER IMAGES OF DEATH AND DESTRUCTION.
IMAGES THAT HUMAN EYES WERE NEVER MEANT TO SEE.
WE REMEMBER WORDS OUR EARS WERE NEVER MEANT TO HEAR,
THE TENDER LAST WORDS OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES WHO WOULD NEVER EMBRACE AGAIN.
WE REMEMBER THE HEROISM OF THE MANY THAT LOST THEIR LIVES IN SAVING OTHERS.
WE REMEMBER ALL THOSE WHO SUFFERED AND DIED.
WE GRIEVE FOR THEM STILL, FRIENDS AND STRANGERS ALIKE, ALONG WITH THEIR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS.
BUT TODAY AND IN THIS PRAYER, ALONG WITH OUR REMEMBRANCE OF PROFOUND LOSS,
IT ALSO SEEMS RIGHT THAT WE GIVE OUR VOICE TO OUR DEEP LONGING FOR PEACE, AND WITH THIS PRAYER, COMMIT OURSELVES TO THOSE ACTIONS THAT WILL DRAW US CLOSER
TO OUR MOST ANCIENT AND MOST HOLY DESIRE, PEACE AMONG ALL GOD’S CHILDREN.
LORD, GRANT US PEACE. AMEN.
As we reflect on these words, we are invited to ask for the special intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Queen of Peace. We are also encouraged to remember in a special way all those who suffered in some way on that fateful day of September 11, 2001. I invite you to join many of your fellow parishioners and friends at our special Mass for Peace this Tuesday.
Fr. Neil Herlihy