Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In light of the recent tragedies in Louisiana, Minnesota, Texas, and others which seem to occur now with far too great a regularity, the Knights of Columbus has launched a new initiative for a National Novena for Peace during the period, July 14-22, 2016. As Bishop of Raleigh, I respectfully request you to join me and our Diocesan family in this Novena, petitioning our Lord to instill His peace in the hearts of those whose first inclination is to violence toward others.
At the heart of the Novena is simply the Peace Prayer by Saint Francis of Assisi. Join your parish congregation before or after Mass in this prayer for these nine days, starting July 14 and ending July 22, and also lead your family in praying this prayer at home during this same period.
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace; Where there is hatred, let me sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is error, the truth; Where there is doubt, the faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek, To be consoled, as to console; To be understood, as to understand; To be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; It is in pardoning that we are pardoned; And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
In addition, since many parish and mission communities pray the rosary prior to or following Mass, may I also suggest that you do so and also pray this powerful devotion at home, seeking the intercession of Mary, Queen of Peace, especially at this critical time in the life of our nation.
As many communities within our great nation find themselves deeply affected by violence, a lack of respect for the gift of life and the recognition of unity that is ours as God’s family, how important it is to contribute prayer as a vital component in the path to peace. In this Jubilee Year dedicated to Our Lord’s mercy, may we all be its instruments in every way possible, beginning with our prayer and extending to the conversations needed in our country toward understanding, reconciliation and peace.
Through the intercession of Our Lady, Queen of Peace and Saint Francis of Assisi, may it be so, now and always.
Sincerely in Christ,
Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge
Bishop of the Diocese of Raleigh