The Month of July 2020

Friends,
 
An Independence Day Prayer for America
          Pope Pius VI named John Carroll the first bishop of the United States of America in 1789.  His cousin, Charles Carroll, was one of America’s Founding Fathers and the only Catholic to sign the Declaration of Independence.
          Bishop John Carroll would go on to become America’s first archbishop when the Diocese of Baltimore, Maryland— the mother diocese of the United States—was elevated to the status of archdiocese.
          Archbishop Carroll was also the founder of America’s first Catholic university—Georgetown. These interesting facts are a testament that Catholics played a significant role in the founding of our nation.
          The Archbishop composed the following prayer for our newly formed government on November 10, 1791, to be recited in parishes throughout his diocese.  It is a timeless prayer, still relevant now, over 225 years later, reminding us of the importance of faith and of prayer as we exercise our civic responsibility for the common good.  On July 4th, Independence Day, and frequently, we do well to pray for our nation, its leaders, its citizens, for protection of the right to life, for justice and peace, and for those most vulnerable here and around the world.
          “We pray, O almighty and eternal God, who through Jesus Christ has revealed your glory to all nations, to preserve the works of your mercy that your Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue with unchanging faith in the confession of your name.
          “We pray You, who alone are good and holy, to endow with heavenly knowledge, sincere zeal and sanctity of life, the Pope, as pastor of the Universal Church; our own Bishop, all other Bishops and Pastors of the Church; and especially those who are appointed to exercise among us the functions of sacred ministry and conduct your people into the ways of salvation.
          “We pray O God of might, wisdom and justice, through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist with your Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness and be eminently useful to your people whom he serves; by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality.
          “Let the light of your divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government, so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety and useful knowledge; and may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty.
          “We pray for the Governor of this state, for the Members of the Legislature, for all Judges and other officers who are appointed to guard our political welfare, that they may be enabled, by your powerful protection, to discharge the duties of their respective stations with honesty and ability.
          “We recommend likewise, to your unbounded mercy, all our fellow citizens throughout the United States, that they may be blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the observance of your holy law; that they may be preserved in union, and in that peace which the world cannot give; and after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal 
          “Finally, we pray to you, O Lord of mercy, to remember the souls of your servants departed, who are gone before us with the sign of faith and repose in the sleep of peace; the souls of our parents, relatives and friends; of those who, when living, were members of this congregation; of all benefactors who, by their offerings and support of this Church deserve our grateful and charitable remembrance. To these, O Lord, and to all that rest in Christ, grant, we beseech you, a place of refreshment, light and everlasting peace, through the same Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior.  Amen.
Prayer Before Mass
          Come Holy Spirit and quiet my heart and my head, as I gather with my friends and neighbors to celebrate Mass. I am saint and sinner. Open my ears to Your words. Open my mouth in prayer and song. Open my eyes to see Your mystery in symbol and sign. Open my heart in love for You and my neighbor. Quiet the thoughts and distractions that will keep me from prayer. Strengthen me to take the Mass into my life this week. Amen.
“The Prayer Process”
          From time to time I speak of the difference I learned, while in our college seminary, between “saying prayers” and “praying”.  Recently a Catholic teacher, author, speaker, Matthew Kelly, sent a wallet-sized-card to priests in the Archdiocese.  His title is “The Prayer Process”.  It is a good reference point not for priests only but for all who listen to that inner voice calling us to give time when we belong to God alone and when God knows that He has us all to Himself.  
          Give the “The Prayer Process” a try, it might be just the right process for you.  It follows:
          1.  Gratitude:  Begin by thanking God in a personal dialogue for whatever you are most grateful today.  2.  Awareness: Revisit the times in the past 24 hours when you were and were not the-best-version-of-yourself.  Talk to God about these situations and what you learned from them.  3.  Significant Moments:  Identify something you experienced in the last 24 hours and explore what God might be trying to say to you through that event or person.  4.  Peace:  Ask God to forgive you for any wrong you have committed -- against yourself, another person, or Him -- and to fill you with a deep and abiding peace.  5.  Freedom:  Speak with God about how He is inviting you to change your life, so that you can experience the freedom to be the-best-version-of-yourself.  6.  Others: Lift up to God anyone you feel called to pray for today, asking God to bless and guide them.  7.  End by praying, as Jesus taught us, the Our Father.
Livestream Sunday Mass
          We will continue to livestream Sunday morning Mass.  You will be able to participate at home, in the parish 10:00 am Mass at St. John’s at www.facebook.com/stjohnapostleandevangelist/
Private Prayer
          The church will be open for private prayer Saturdays from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  The Sacrament of Reconciliation is available Saturdays from 3:30 pm to 4:00 pm.
In Brief
          We keep in prayer those ill with the Coronavirus and all in need of healing, as well as our homebound, that God give them strength, grace and peace.  We pray, too, that God keep a careful eye on their care-givers and loved-ones. 
 
 
    

Faithfully,
Monsignor Delaney