Prayers for East Africa

Many of you have heard of the rising drought in Somalia over the last few months, and of the great swarm of refugees arriving in Kenya. As the drought continues, the needs of our brothers and sisters in East Africa grow daily.

Catholic News Service (CNS) reports of Fatima Mohammed and her family’s 32 day trek to Kenya to find help until the rains come. In the past, humanitarian efforts arrived to her, however this time is different:

This time, al-Shabaab won’t let them in,” she said, referring to the Islamist group that controls portions of Somalia. “So when our animals started dying, our only choice was to stay and die ourselves, or else start walking for Kenya.

Fatima’s story is just one of many refugees looking for hope by becoming refugees. Yet, the number of refugees grows by 1,300 each day.

Let us continue to pray for our brothers and sisters of East Africa, and for the agencies that are on the ground trying to help them. I am asking my readers to consider donating to the “East Africa Emergency Fund” via:

  • by check to your local diocese and/or parish collection for East Africa, noting “East Africa Emergency Fund”;
  • directly to Catholic Relief Services, P.O. Box 17090 Baltimore, MD 21203-7090; or
  • to CRS via web: 
Let us pray:

General Intercessions

Response: Gracious God, hear our prayer

  • For the church, that we may work together with our leaders to respond to the devastation of the drought impacting East Africa, we pray to the Lord. (Response)
  • For world leaders, including political leaders and international organizations, that their response to the
  • drought in East Africa will reflect your will and demonstrate cooperation, we pray to the Lord. (Response)
  • For people in East Africa who are losing hope, who feel abandoned as a result of conflicts, drought, death and the visible threat of famine, may God’s people remind them of God’s love and providence, we pray to the Lord (Response)
  • For those of us gathered here, continue to teach us about your way so that we might understand and build the kingdom of God, we pray to the Lord (Response)

Gracious and Loving God,
As witnesses to the drought in East Africa,
continue to provide your people
with hearts of service, compassion and solidarity.

Console our sisters and brothers living
with uncertainty and the scarcity of food.

Guide our leaders that they might work together
to offer solutions to the needs
of the people in East Africa.

May your grace remind us
that you are the source of justice;
your mastery over all things
makes you lenient to all.

Continue to gather us in your name
so as your children we embrace
our sisters and brothers
as we respond to your call.

You call us your people.
You taught us to be just and
you gave us good ground for hope.

Lord, help us to respond to the needs
of our brothers and sisters in the coming weeks.
Mold us in your will so that our brothers and sisters
will see you reflected in our response.

We ask this through your son, Jesus Christ
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God forever and ever.


The Sacred Heart – A Prayer for Priests: Update – Day Nine

In the writings of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, she tells of a day in 1675 during the octave of the feast of Corpus Christi, the Lord appeared to her and said:

“Behold this heart which, notwithstanding the burning love for men with which it is consumed and exhausted, meets with no other return from most Christians than sacrilege, contempt, indifference and ingratitude, even in the sacrament of my love (the Eucharist). But what pierces my heart most deeply is that I am subjected to these insults by persons especially consecrated to my service.”

With these words of our Lord in our hearts, let us offer a Novena Prayer in honor of His Sacred Heart, for the protection and deliverance of our priests, that the Lord may strengthen them in their ministries, and restore them when they fall. The below prayers are those prayed by Saint Padre Pio for those who have asked for his prayers. We then, ask him to accompany us in our prayer for the Lord’s consecrated ones, for their continued faithful service of administering the Sacraments to God’s people, the Church.

Each day, I will post a particular intention for our priests to insert into the following prayer, that is prayed each day. Feel free to add your intentions in the comments. Let us begin:

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

I.  My Jesus,You have said,‘Truly I say to you,ask and it will be given you,seek and you will find,knock and it will be opened to you.’ Through the intercession of Mary,Your holy Mother,I knock,I seek and ask that my prayer be granted. Today, I ask:

  • Day Nine – Friday, July 1 (Feast of the Sacred Heart): We pray for the protection of Priests against the sin of impetuosity (failure to adequately consider all available means to a particular end), and for an increase in the virtue of Prudence (rightly directs particular human acts, through rectitude of the appetite, toward a good end).
  • Day Eight – Thursday, June 30: We pray for the protection of Priests against the sin of recklessness (inordinate rashness and fear in the face of major pain that threatens to unbalance human nature), and for an increase in the virtue of Fortitude (steadiness of will in doing good despite obstacles).
  • Day Seven – Wednesday, June 29: We pray for the protection of Priests against the sin of avarice (the inordinate love of earthly things, especially money), and for an increase in the virtue of Liberality ( a spirit of generosity for a proper and worthy charity).
  • Day Six – Tuesday, June 28: We pray for the protection of Priests against the sin of Envy (sadness in response to another’s success), and for an increase in the virtue of Brotherly Love (happiness in response to another’s success. “Love one another, as I have loved you.” Jn 13:34)
  • Day Five – Monday, June 27:  We pray for the protection of Priests against the sin of Gluttony (excessive and uncontrolled preoccupation with food and drink), and for an increase in the virtue of Temperance (restrain the inordinate movements of our desires or appetites. “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life.” Jn 6:27)
  • Day Four – Sunday, June 26: We pray for the protection of Priests against the sin of Wrath (lack of control in one’s anger), and for an increase in the virtue of Meekness (controls every inordinate resentment at another’s character or behavior, and cultivates patience).
  • Day Three – Saturday, June 25: We pray for the protection of Priests against the sin of Sloth, and for an increase in the virtue of Diligence (The decision to fulfill all of the responsibilities in our vocation or state in life).
  • Day Two – Friday, June 24: We pray for the protection of Priests against the sin of Lust, and for an increase in the virtue of Chastity.
  • Day One – Thursday, June 23: We pray for the protection of Priests against the sin of Pride, and for an increase in the virtue of Humility.

Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Glory be to the Father…

Sacred Heart of Jesus,I place all my trust in you.

II. O my Jesus,You have said,‘Truly I say to you,if you ask anything of the Father in my name,He will give it to you.’
Through the intercession of Mary,Your holy Mother,in Your Name I ask the Father that my prayer be granted.

Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Glory be to the Father…

Sacred Heart of Jesus,I place all my trust in you.

III.  O my Jesus,You have said,‘Truly I say to you,heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away.’ Encouraged by
Your infallible words,through the intercession of Mary,Your holy Mother I feel confident that my prayers will be answered.

(mention the day’s request)

Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Glory be to the Father…

O Sacred ,O Merciful,O Eucharistic Heart of Jesus,
I place all my trust in you.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus,for whom it is impossible not to have compassion on the afflicted,have pity on us poor sinners and grant us the grace which we ask of You,through the Sorrowful and Immaculate heart of Mary,Your tender mother and ours.

Hail,Holy Queen…

St. Joseph,foster father of Jesus,pray for us.




Gerard M. Nadal is inviting his readers to a Novena to the Divine Mercy for Fr. Corapi.

God is Greater than it All: Help for Louis

This post is dedicated to one of the cutest kids I’ve never met but would like to – Louis.

Background Story

“Louis (French pronunciation: “loo-ee”) was born in 2006, and on the following day his little body was covered with purple and red blotches that covered his whole body except his belly.

The doctors were baffled and even took pictures to document this apparently very rare occurrence. The colors faded and he seemed fine, though they never fully discovered what caused it. His body did flare up in little hives pretty regularly, but he didn’t seem to mind. And except for a LOT of spitting up, seemed like a normal baby. After all, what baby doesn’t spit up? But it never stopped, even after he began eating solids. To make a long story short, after two years, several misdiagnoses, and many long nights, Louis was diagnosed with Mastocytosis, specifically Urticaria Pigmentosa, which is Mastocytosis in the skin and digestive track.

Mastocytosis is a group of rare disorders of both children and adults caused by the presence of too many mast cells (mastocytes) and CD34+ mast cell precursors in a person’s body which could be life threatening and for which there is no known cure.”


The above was the first entry into Louis’ CaringBridge page. He will turn five this year, and, if you have read his Mom’s journal over these years, you would realize, this little guy has gone through a whole lot.

In addition to the elimination of things from his diet in order to pinpoint things his digestive tract didn’t handle well;  the throwing up continues – although much reduced. The doctor visits, the probing, the just not feeling good. Also, because of the dietary tract issues, Louis is way behind in his growth for his age. He’s a real trooper. I have a huge amount of respect for any parent, like Theresa and her husband Peter, who have to deal day in and day out with long-term illness of a child. Much more, how frustrating it must be, when even those medically trained can’t quite be sure exactly what is wrong with your child.

What had inspired me to write a post about Louis came from the latest written by his mother, Theresa. I will let her tell her latest adventure as the Martin family tries to keep their lives as normal as possible:

A new HOPE

“We had a scare the other day.  We were enjoying the great weather when Louis screamed “OW!” and gripped his face.  I saw what looked like a wasp type thing fall to the ground.  With a sense of focused calm I whisked him inside only to see his cheek swelling and the redness and hives spreading like a spider web. Would I have to use the epi-pen?  Were we going to have to go to the ER?

I gave him a hefty dose of Benadryl and tried to put a cold compress on it, but Louis wouldn’t have it.  Again I felt lost, hopeless, helpless…there must be something that can be done, my poor darling – poor little Louis…

Thankfully, the Benadryl worked very well.  The swelling and hives went down.  He did have a vomiting spell that night, first time in over a week, but we believe it was from the flare-up from the sting.  Thank God that’s all it was.  Because you know that is the biggest fear with mastocytosis: that he will have an allergy to something and then it be exponentially worse because of the disease and he’d go into anaphylactic shock.  God is watching over him…

We are trying to pour our hearts more into God…or perhaps I should say allow Him to pour deeper into us.  I asked Pete to find an uplifting movie of a Saint to bring home from the office, and he found one about Blessed John Paul II.

Every time I saw him in person, I wept.  I don’t know why – I can’t explain it, but every time my eyes would well up.  There was something about that man that radiated God’s love.  The movie was done so well…his life is such an amazing witness…so many times during the film I cried too.

You know his main message: do not be afraid and open wide the doors to Christ; and every life is worthy of dignity, respect and love.  I suppose this is true no matter what evil we face; be it communism, genocide, pornography, discrimination, abortion, our personal sins, etc…or disease.  We cannot be afraid.  God is greater than it all.

In light of all these happenings, we are taking a bold stance.  We are going to pray to God to ask for Louis’ complete healing through Blessed John Paul II’s intercession and in hopes that JP II will be listed soon among His saints.  We invite you to petition our Lord for Louis’ healing as well.  Here is the prayer we will be saying daily.  We would love to have you join us.”

Prayer for the Canonization of Pope John Paul II

O Blessed Trinity,

we thank You for having graced the Church with Pope John Paul II and for allowing the tenderness of Your Fatherly care, the glory of the cross of Christ, and the splendor of the Holy Spirit, to Shine through him.

 Trusting fully in Your infinite mercy 
and in the maternal intercession of Mary,
he has given us a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd,
and has shown us that holiness
is the necessary measure of ordinary Christian life
and is the way of achieving eternal communion with You.
Grant us, by his intercession, 
and according to Your will,
the graces we implore…

that Louis be completely restored to health!

hoping that he will soon be
numbered among Your Saints. Amen.


If you feel inclined, please join us in praying for healing for Louis through the intercession of Blessed John Paul II.

You can also leave some words of encouragement for Theresa and Peter in the comments, and these will be posted to their caring bridge page.

Another way you can help: Theresa’s brother-in-law, Paul Rose, will be running in the 2011 Chicago Marathon, with all pledges/donations going to help support on-going medical costs for Louis. You can sponsor Paul an amount per mile, or do a one-time donation. Just go to the Help Louis  website, click on ‘Donate to Help Louis’.

I have known Theresa and Peter for about nine years. We met as students at the Angelicum Pontifical University – Rome. They are really wonderful people, working hard to raise their four boys. As a community of faith, maybe together, with the help of the intercession of Blessed John Paul II, we may be able to help them do that, just a little better.

God bless you!

Blessed John Paul II, pray for us.

Saint Magdalene of Canossa, Pray for Us

My Religious Family celebrates its feast day today (May 8th), Feast of our Foundress Saint Magdalene of Canossa, and the Foundation of the Canossian Daughters of Charity – Servants of the Poor (Canossian Sisters), on May 8, 1808.

I wish to share the blessings of this feast day with each of you, asking our Foundress to intercede for your needs:

As we celebrate the gift of our Foundress,
and the charism of the Greatest Love she left to us,
our hearts are united with you in thanksgiving to God.

May she continue to intercede for us,
that we may always be renewed with the flame of Charity
“which spreads and spreads and seeks to embrace everything.”

(Rss, Pt. I, Rules for the Parish Schools, Rule 1, p.199)


The Canossian Family: 

Each of us religious sisters and brothers, priests, lay persons and volunteers, is Canossian by the charism we all share. But just as each of us is a unique creation of God, so too is our expression of the gift (charism). The charism gives us our name (Canossa) and creates a strong bond between those who bear this name.


We Canossian Sisters strive to address the most pressing needs through the following expressions of Magdalene’s charism: education, evangelization, pastoral care of the sick, formation of the laity and spiritual exercises. All is done to fulfil Magdalene’s dream: “above all make Jesus known”.



We Brothers and Priests witness to the love of Christ Crucified by responding generously to the needs of the times and the place where we are, in accordance to the local church, through activities such as: Catechesis, Assistance to the Youth, Youth Centers (Oratory), Works of Charity towards the poor and the least.



We Lay Canossians, discovering that we are in harmony with the charism of Magdalene of Canossa, feel called to live the charity of Christ Crucified in a secular dimension and ask to share in the Canossian family’s life in order to collaborate with the Daughters of Charity (and Sons of Charity) in their ministries.



We are lay men and women, youth and adults of diverse nationalities united in the great mission of human promotion and evangelization. We offer opportunities to grow in faith and for one to share their gifts through an experience of Community, Spirituality, Formation and Service.

One of our past-volunteers shared a day in her missionary life at this blog here.


Blessed Feast Day everyone!

When too Distressed to Pray

For all who, like this person, find themselves with no words to pray in their suffering and pain…may you find comfort in knowing that our inmost groaning that comes when no words are found, is indeed a prayer heard by the Lord…and at times, is better than singing Alleluia!

Psalm 34:19 says, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted, saves those whose spirit is crushed.”

Jesus confirms these words, telling us, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Thus, let us, in the words of Saint Paul take heart, and “Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.”

Note: When we cannot pray, it is always a good idea to ask others to pray for us. This is the grace and beauty of the Christian community. Be assured that any petitions left on this site, will be offered in prayer before the Lord. God bless you!


Other related posts:

Always a Way Back to God

Forgiveness – A Way Home

Faith in Adversity – Intercessory Prayer

Making it Right with God

Faith in Adversity and Intercessory Prayer

This morning, I received a tweet by a young woman praying for her grandpa, and in her words I could feel her pain and her deep concern and worry. It seems, as of late, I have been asked by many to pray for various problems and concerns, especially for those who are fighting cancer, as is the case of my new young friend. Having six members of my own family who are in this particular battle, I understand the feeling of helplessness, as though I am watching on the sidelines, waiting with them in the battle of unknowing. It is for people such as my new young friend, I decided to try an experiment and add a page of intercessory prayer. I offer this spiritual work to God through the hands of Mary, Theotokos – “The One who bore God”. There are two images of Mary that summarize for me her role as a Spiritual Mother for all of us.

The first comes from the Gospel of Luke – the story of the Annunciation.

Here, we find a young woman, fully open to hear the Word of God through the angel Gabriel’s announcement. She had found favor with God, and would bear His Son. There is no experience that I can think of in my life that would have such a profound impact as that experienced by Mary. Did she understand all the implications of that announcement? Yes, I believe she did, and she even asked the angel how it could be. And, despite all possibility in the physical laws, she believed the word of the Angel, and consented to be a special instrument through which the Savior of the World came to dwell within her, and be born into the world.

The second comes from the Gospel of John – the scene of the Crucifixion.

At the foot of the cross stood the mother of Jesus, along with the Beloved Disciple. It is here, Mary’s pain must have been fierce, a sword of sorrow, pondering why God chose this plan for her Son. Overwhelmed in her grief; yet, I imagine her thinking of the words Jesus taught us to pray – “Thy Kingdom come; Thy Will be done.” She is the model for the Christian of faith in adversity.

From the Annunciation to the Cross, Mary’s words were, “Let it be done according to Your word! Thy Will be done!”

Let us take great consolation in this, as we turn and stand with Mary at the foot of the Cross in the hour of our own uncertainty, and with her pray with confidence to the Father who knows our needs before we ask, and yet takes delight in listening to our feeble prayers. He hears us, and answers us.

Please feel free to leave your prayer requests in the comments. I will remember them in my nightly Rosary, where with Mary, I offer the prayers of the hurts of the world, and with her pray to the Father, ‘Thy will be done!’