Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., invites the faithful on Inauguration Day to join him in a “Prayer for Our Nation,” first offered in 1959 by Patrick Cardinal O’Boyle, Archbishop of Washington, at the Consecration of the United States of America to the Blessed Virgin Mary under the patronal title “The Immaculate Conception.” This prayer was prayed in parishes throughout the nation.
God our Father in Heaven, you chose Mary as the fairest of your daughters; Holy Spirit, you overshadowed Mary at the Annunciation; God the Son, you became incarnate in the womb of Mary, your Mother. In union with Mary, we adore you, the Most Holy Trinity and acknowledge that you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, hold eternal dominion and authority over all nations.
Most Holy Trinity, we place the United States of America into the hands of Mary Immaculate in order that she may present our country to you. Through her we wish to praise and thank you for the great resources of our land and for the freedom, which has been our heritage. Through the intercession of Mary, have mercy on the Catholic Church in the United States. Grant us peace. Have mercy on our president and on all the officers of our government. Grant us a fruitful economy born of justice and charity. Raise up and protect all of our families. Through the intercession of our Mother, have mercy on the sick, the poor, the tempted, sinners—on all who are in need. Above all, we ask Mary to intercede on our behalf that you would protect our conscience rights and religious freedom, upon which our country was founded.
Mary, Immaculate Virgin, Our Mother, Patroness of our land, we honor you and give ourselves to you. Wrap your mantel of protection around each of us and all our fellow citizens. Protect us from all evil and harm. Pray for us, that acting always according to your will and the Will of your Divine Son, we may live and die pleasing to God.
On Jan. 22, the 48th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, the Diocese of Trenton will join the other New Jersey (arch)dioceses in observing a Day of Fasting and Prayer to end abortion. In a letter issued Jan. 5, the New Jersey bishops write:
As we mark this tragic event in our nation’s history, we remember the millions of lives lost to abortion and pray for the mothers and fathers left to suffer the tragic effects.
The Catholic Church is committed to protecting all life from conception to natural death. We will work vigorously to ensure the laws of our state and country protect and defend the intrinsic dignity of all people.
Signed by the bishops of the five Roman Catholic arch(dioceses), as well as two Eastern-rite dioceses, the letter concludes with a prayer:
We humbly implore our Blessed Mother under her title of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas and Protectress of the Unborn, to intercede on our behalf that these efforts to end abortion are guided by mercy, compassion, and above all charity.
To view the letter, click here.
In his September 2019 Apostolic Letter “Aperuit illis,” Pope Francis instituted The Sunday of the Word of God to be held every year on the third Sunday in Ordinary Time.
For 2021, that is Jan. 24. It is a day to be dedicated to the celebration, reflection and dissemination of the Word.
A December statement by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments explains that the day is a way to help people “reawaken an awareness of the importance of Sacred Scripture for our lives as believers, beginning with its resonance in the liturgy which places us in living and permanent dialogue with God.”
To learn more about The Sunday of the Word of God and how the faithful can be active participants, click here.