Bishop Dennis Sullivan will be the main celebrant at the 12:05 p.m. Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Camden, on Friday, Sept. 9.
The day has been declared a “Day of Prayer for Peace in Our Communities” by the U.S. bishops “in light of recent incidents of violence and racial tension in communities across the United States.”
In a July news release, the bishops’ conference said the day of prayer is a “response to the racially-related shootings in Baton Rouge, Minneapolis and Dallas.” After the violence of July, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the bishops’ conference, the press release said, “noted the need to look at ways the Catholic Church can walk with and help these suffering communities.”
The Mass is being held on the feast of Saint Peter Claver, a 17th-century Spanish Jesuit missionary known as the “saint of the slaves” because of his work with black African slaves shipped to the Americas and his opposition to the slave trade.
The homilist will be Msgr. Leonard Scott, a retired pastor and canon lawyer who was the first black priest elevated to the rank of monsignor in the Camden Diocese and the second named in the United States.
Prayer for Peace in Our Communities
Let us pray …
O Lord our God, in your mercy and kindness, no thought of ours is left unnoticed, no desire or concern ignored.
You have proved that blessings abound when we fall on our knees in prayer, and so we turn to you in our hour of need.
Surrounded by violence and cries for justice, we hear your voice telling us what is required …
“Only to do justice and love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God” (Mi 6:8).
Fill us with your mercy so that we, in turn, may be merciful to others. Strip away pride, suspicion and racism so that we may seek peace and justice in our communities.
Strengthen our hearts so that they beat only to the rhythm of your holy will. Flood our path with your light as we walk humbly toward a future filled with encounter and unity.
Be with us, O Lord, in our efforts, for only by the prompting of your grace can we progress toward virtue. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.