“Prayers for Those Who Serve”
This heading is a fairly new feature in our weekly bulletin, found further below on this page, along with the long-established prayers for the sick and for the dying. Along with the photo board found adjacent to the statue of Mary at the foot of the stairway on the south side of church (affectionately known as “the elevator side”), this serves as a good reminder to us all. It is important to be able to picture individual faces when actively praying for active duty military men and women— literally, some of our sons and daughters, sisters and brothers.
At the current time, four men ordained to the priesthood in the Diocese of Cleveland serve in the Archdiocese for the Military Services USA.: Archbishop Timothy Broglio, Bishop Neal Buckon, Fr. Curt Kondick (whose parents are local) and Fr. Joe Brankatelli. We can imagine the extensive pastoral needs of those who serve in the military, and we actively pray for the chaplains who respond to this “call within a call.” While in seminary, I had the opportunity to serve two summers as what is called a “Chaplain candidate,” working with chaplains and communities of Catholics on a specified base. It certainly assisted me in gaining insights into the demands of this lifestyle.
Monday, we mark Memorial Day. Barring heavy rain, we will continue our custom of celebrating Mass at St. Mary Cemetery, beginning at 8:30 a.m. I must say that this has become one of the most meaningful liturgies of the annual cycle, for me and possibly for a good many people who participate. As we honor those who have fallen in the line of military duty, I believe it makes sense to lift up, by extension, those who bear the many varied wounds of war, as well as those who are “on duty” to protect our communities from violence and go into harm’s way in tragedy. Here is a prayer for Memorial Day:
God of power and mercy ,
You destroy death and put down earthly pride.
Banish violence from our midst and wipe away our tears, that we may deserve to be called
your sons and daughters.
Keep in your mercy those men and women
who have dies in the cause of freedom
and bring them safely into your kingdom
of justice and peace.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Peace to our homes, our community, our nation, our world...