Dear Friends,

As a spiritual response to the terrible revelations of sexual abuse of minors by priests across six dioceses in Pennsylvania as well as the news concerning the now-former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and his misconduct, Archbishop Blair has mandated that every parish in the Archdiocese pray the Prayer to St. Michael at the end of every Mass and that every parish have an hour of Eucharistic Adoration for the purpose of reparation for the sins of the clergy which have wounded the Church as well as for the purification and renewal of both the Church and the clergy.

Here in our parish, we will begin to pray the Prayer to St. Michael once it is placed in the Journeysongs hymnal at St. Mary’s. Happily, it is already available on the back cover of the Breaking Bread hymnal used at St. Agnes. For those of you over the age of sixty, and certainly over the age of seventy, the Prayer to St. Michael will be very familiar, as it was prayed at Mass from the time of Pope Leo XIII, who died in 1903, until the Second Vatican Council in the 1960's. For the rest of us who are younger, we will become familiar with that prayer in short order. Once the prayer text is available at St. Mary’s, which I anticipate will be in the very near future, we will pray that prayer after the blessing and before the dismissal at every Mass until further notice.

The hour of Eucharistic Adoration will take place every Friday after the 9:00 AM Mass until 10:30 AM at St. Agnes Church. One of the priests or deacons will place the Blessed Sacrament on the altar in the monstrance. The rosary will be prayed and then there will be time for silent prayer until the Blessed Sacrament is reposed in the tabernacle. I urge as many of you to come to that hour of adoration as possible. Furthermore, I would also suggest that we undertake an additional penance each Friday, that we abstain from meat and fast by giving up one of the three meals that day. Prayer and fasting taken together are powerful means of penance and reparation, good for our own spiritual lives, but also good for the Church and its renewal and purification.

Looking ahead, we will be convening a meeting of the liturgy committee to plan the major events for the fall, including both the Advent and Christmas seasons, which it is hard to believe, are approaching. The liturgy committee will meet at St. Agnes on Wednesday, October 3, at 7:30 PM. Anyone who is interested or who has ideas is most welcome.

We will have the annual Blessing of Animals held in conjunction with the feast of St. Francis of Assisi at St. Mary’s on Saturday, October 6, at 12:30 PM. The blessing will be held on the church grounds outside of Fr. Cronin Hall where the statue of St. Francis of Assisi is located. Please have dogs on leashes and cats and other animals in crates.

Finally, I would like to thank the DeMarco Family for their hard and dedicated work in planting a new and beautiful garden near the statue of Our Lady on the grounds of St. Mary’s between the church and the rectory. Their efforts will bear much fruit for years to come and on behalf of the parish for their time and dedication to the task.

Have a great week!