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Basilica to host adoration as part of Diocesan Day of Prayer and Penance

| Friday, October 5, 2018

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart will be hosting adoration from noon to 5 p.m. on Friday as part of a Diocesan Day of Prayer and Penance in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Campus Ministry announced this week.

Bishop Kevin Rhoades of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend called for the Diocesan Day of Prayer and Penance in response to the sexual abuse crisis facing the Catholic Church. The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend also published a list of priests in the diocese who were “credibly accused” of sexual abuse of a minor. At least four of the priests had some past affiliation with the tri-campus community.

The scandal stems from allegations against Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and a Pennsylvania Grand Jury report in August which uncovered the abuse of thousands of minors over 70 years.

In a letter to the diocese, Rhoades called for the community to reflect on the Sacred Heart of Jesus and pray for survivors of clergy abuse and mercy for the Catholic Church. The Sacred Heart of Jesus refers to Jesus’ resurrected heart as being a symbol of God’s love.

“Besides supporting the actions of reform mentioned above, I believe that all of us are called to recommit ourselves to the pursuit of holiness, to pray for the church and for victim-survivors, and to do penance and reparation for the sins and crimes of those who have abused or have been negligent in protecting minors or assisting victims,” he said.

Both before and after adoration, the Basilica will celebrate its daily 11:30 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. Masses, with prayers and readings focused on the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Kate Barrett, associate director of liturgy, said Campus Ministry sought to integrate some of the Basilica’s day-to-day practices, such as daily Mass, into the Diocesan Day of Prayer and Penance.

“Whenever we hear of something like this that comes from the diocese, we really want to participate because we recognize that we’re a part of the campus, but we’re also a part of the diocese and a part of the wider church as well,” she said. “But we also know that we have to do something that’s going to fit in with our culture here and something that will be meaningful to our students.”

The theme of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is particularly pertinent to campus, considering the Basilica is named after it, director of Campus Ministry Fr. Pete McCormick said.

“What we’re trying to do is tap into this deep Catholic understanding that we as a church are encountering a real significant cross in our lives,” he said. “While we would love to talk about the hope of the resurrection, the only way to really do that is to look at and recognize the presence of the cross in our midst.”

In accordance with this theme, the Basilica’s bells will toll at 3 p.m. when, according to Catholic tradition, Jesus died. McCormick said he hopes the Basilica’s time of prayer will help anchor the community as it begins to address the sexual abuse scandals.

“We need to root ourselves in prayer and we need to see all the members of our community coming together to recognize that despite our sin, despite the sin that is so present that there is something greater here and our quest to encounter the love of God should not be stifled in any way, shape or form,” he said. “At the same time, we need to be transparent in our dealings with these issues and we need to be courageous in the face of them.”

Barrett also echoed the importance of prayer in addressing the sexual abuse crisis within the Catholic Church.

“Whenever we’re struggling in a situation like this, we want action and we’re like ‘Why isn’t anybody doing something?’” she said. “We have that reaction of ‘We need action, we need change, we need improvement,’ but I think we also need prayer, so part of it is just a reminder of that — that even as we’re hoping that the bishops will do something or we’re advocating for lay people to do something, we need to bring our hearts back to prayer too.”

Ultimately, McCormick said he hopes the prayer service will encourage members of the community to engage with the current crisis facing the Catholic Church.

“My greatest concern is actually apathy and [people will] be like ‘Oh, that’s just what the church does,’” McCormick said. “But there’s something so much greater here that will be lost if we don’t engage it and really kind of use our God-given talents to bring about a church that we all hope for.”

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About Natalie Weber

Natalie is a junior majoring in English with minors in Journalism, Ethics & Democracy and Computing & Digital Technologies. She serves as News Editor at The Observer and is a native of Western Colorado.

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