Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus,
First, I want to wish you a blessed and safe July 4th holiday! I encourage you to sanctify the 4th of July by attending Holy Mass. This year we will offer Holy Mass at St. Michael in Pine Island at 8:30am. I hope it will be a day of leisure and recreation, filled with gratitude for our nation and the many women and men who have sacrificed so much so that we could experience the blessings of freedom as granted by our Creator.
This July 4th weekend I include a prayer written by the first Archbishop in the United States of America: Archbishop John Carroll (Archbishop of Baltimore). He wrote this prayer on November 10, 1791 and asked all priests in his diocese to offer this prayer from the pulpit. I encourage all of us to offer this prayer for our country this July 4th and anytime we may be inspired by the Holy Spirit in the days ahead. May our good Lord hear our prayers and swiftly come to our aid!
Prayer for Government by Archbishop John Carroll
“We pray, Thee O Almighty and Eternal God! Who through Jesus Christ hast revealed Thy Glory to all nations, to preserve the works of Thy Mercy, that Thy Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue with unchanging Faith in the confession of Thy Name.
We pray Thee, who alone art Good and Holy, to endow with heavenly Knowledge, sincere zeal, and sanctity of life, our chief Bishop, Pope Francis, the Vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the government of His Church; our own Archbishop, Bernard Hebda, all other bishops, prelates, and pastors of the Church; and especially those who are appointed to exercise amongst us the functions of the holy ministry, and conduct Thy people into the ways of salvation.
We pray Thee O God of Might, Wisdom, and Justice! Through Whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist with Thy Holy Spirit of Counsel and Fortitude the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to Thy people over whom he presides; by encouraging due respect for Virtue and Religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in Justice and Mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality. Let the light of Thy Divine Wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government, so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge; and may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty.
We pray for his excellency, the governor of this state, for the members of the assembly, for all judges, magistrates, and other officers who are appointed to guard our political welfare, that they may be enabled, by Thy powerful protection, to discharge the duties of their respective stations with honesty and ability. We recommend likewise, to Thy unbounded Mercy, all our brethren and fellow citizens throughout the United States, that they may be blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the observance of Thy most Holy Law; that they may be preserved in union, and in that Peace which the world cannot give; and after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are Eternal.
Finally, we pray to Thee, O Lord of Mercy, to remember the souls of Thy servants departed who are gone before us with the sign of Faith and repose in the sleep of peace; the souls of our parents, relatives, and friends; of those who, when living, were members of this congregation, and particularly of such as are lately deceased; of all benefactors who, by their donations or legacies to this Church, witnessed their zeal for the decency of Divine Worship and proved their claim to our grateful and charitable remembrance. To these, O Lord, and to all that rest in Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, a place of refreshment, light, and everlasting peace, through the same Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior. Amen.”
Through the intercession of Mary, the Immaculate Conception, St. Joseph, St. Michael and St. Paul, may our good Lord bless our country with His peace and consolation!
In Christ through Mary,