New Zealand Prayer Service
March 16, 2019, Deacon Steve Herrera
Merciful Lord, Loving Father of us all,
You know the anguish of the sorrowful,
You are attentive to the prayers of the humble.
Hear your people Lord, who cry out to you in our time of distress and grief.
We as Catholics, Jews, Christians and people of good will gather together with you, our Muslim brothers and sisters to embrace you in your grief. May we be a sign of God’s loving care and support for you, through our presence with you today.
No one should have to live in fear because of the way they choose to worship God, especially in their place of worship. Religious communities throughout the community stand in solidarity with you, our Muslim brothers and sisters, and express our sincere condolences to the victims and their families.
We are completely devastated by this senseless act of hatred. We hold you in prayer this day and hope that our presence is a sign of God’s presence with you now, during this difficult time.
Be assured of our continuing prayers in the wake of this terrible tragedy. We as Catholics and Muslims share the same Abrahamic root, we believe in the same God. We are brothers and sisters. We stand in solidarity with you and cry out WITH you to the Lord our God to give us the faith and strength to withstand threats of fear and death.
I am utterly saddened for those who lost their lives and the fear and anxiety this causes Muslims. The freedom to worship and to practice one’s own religion is an absolute right and no one should ever fear for their lives because of how they practice their faith!
We as Catholics stand with you, my Muslim Brothers and Sisters, we vow to support you and protect your right to worship God in your own way, in peace.
Who was murdered in New Zealand? They were fathers, mothers, grandparents, daughters and sons. They were refugees, immigrants and New-Zealand born.
Some of those killed included:
Mucad Ibrahim, 3 years old
Abdullahi Dirie, 4 years old
Sayyad Milne, 14 years old..and many others…
May God comfort those left behind who are grieving the loss of their loved ones…. Pause
May the peace of God,
Which is beyond all understanding,
Embrace your hearts and minds today
As we are gathered together…..
May the love of God bless and console us,
And gently wipe every tear from our eyes.
We praise you Loving father, you are our refuge, you are our strength.
We know your presence, we know your support through the presence of all who have gathered today.
—Today we pray in solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters,
—Tomorrow, may God give us the strength to stand up against Islama-phobia where ever it appears…
—Tomorrow may God give us the courage to work for adequate gun laws that require background checks and other comprehensive approaches to end gun violence.
—May God strengthen our resolve to stand up for one another so that we may all live and worship in peace, without fear.
We will find strength in our fellowship with one another,
We will find hope in our faith communities,
And we will live in solidarity with one another to promote a more peaceful world.
We will overcome. We will stand firm in our faith.
We will stand up for one another. We will work for a more just world and we will advocate for just laws to protect us all.
May the God of comfort be with us and especially with the families and friends of those who lost their lives in New Zealand… AMEN