Pope's Prayer Intention for September

Flight Into Egypt by Henry Tanner (see the Prayer for Refugees, below)

Every month the Vatican announces an intention for which the pope asks all to pray.

Here's the pope's intention for August:

That those who, because of wars or oppressive regimes,
are forced to leave their homes and country
may be supported by Christians
in the defense and protection of their rights.

Here's the American Bishops' Prayer for Refugees:

Compassionate God,
make your loving presence felt to refugees,
torn from home, family and everything familiar.

Warm, especially, the hearts of the young, the old,
and the most vulnerable among them.

Help them know that you accompany them
as you accompanied Jesus, Mary, and Joseph
in their exile to Egypt.

Lead refugees to a new home and a new hope,
as you led the Holy Family
to their new home in Nazareth.

Open our hearts to receive them
as our sisters and brothers
in whose face we see your son, Jesus.




  1. I know this does not have to do with this post, but I wanted to know what people think about the Voice of the Faithful video regarding the Chicago abuse case.

    Father Fleming,
    Have things really not changed yet in the upper levels in the hierarchy? Is there still cover up, transferring of priests to different parishes, and "promotions" to these accused priests? I would like to know what you think. I know it must be hard to be a priest and wear your collar in public at times, but how should we as faithful Catholics feel? How can we feel the trust again? It has been 6 years that we have been trying to heal a wound so deep that it will never be forgotten because there will always be a scar. Should we be part of an institution that really has not learned from it's dreadful mistakes?

  2. I really like that. :-) In this country I think we've gotten ourselves very confused about how we should treat people who are running from somewhere to here. Mary, Joseph, and Jesus were "tired poor... yearning to breathe free" or at least yearning to continue breathing! I hope we can moderate our national fear of someone getting something that we think should be ours and become a more generous country. Let's hope many really listen to what they're praying when they do.

  3. Yes, things have really changed at all levels of Church life. Is everything perfect now and failsafe? No. Are there still grave failures? Yes. Is there any excuse for those? No. Will there one day be a church where human failure is no longer a problem? No. Will the day come soon when such failures are remedied swiftly and radically? I hope and pray so.

    There are many reasons why it might be difficult to be a priest today - the sexual abuse crisis is among those reasons. I don't always wear a Roman collar but when I do I don't find it difficult.

    To say that the "institution really has not learned from its mistakes" is to ignore all that the institution HAS learned from its mistakes and the changes it has made. There is much more to learn and more changes to be made.

    We once thought that priests and bishops could do no wrong. We then found out how wrong that belief could be. To believe now that the day will come when priests and bishops will, again, be perfect, is foolish.

    We need structures that continue to correct and root out those whose failures have such devastating consequences.

  4. What do I think about the VOTF video? I think it's time for members of the VOTF to readjust priorities and to look to the future instead of dwelling, stewing, in the past. The Forgiveness Prayer would be one way to attempt a clean start, for themselves and for others.


Please THINK before you write
and PRAY before you think!