PORTLAND — Bishop Richard Malone has designated Wednesday, March 28, as a day of prayer and penance for harm done to victims and the faithful by past incidents of clergy sexual abuse.
Malone, the head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, will celebrate Mass at 12:15 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland, according to a press release issued Monday by Sue Bernard, spokeswoman for the diocese.
“Each year, I ask the clergy of the diocese to join me by marking a day of contrition for past offenses against minors,” Malone said in the press release. “Through prayer and reflection, may we become even more committed to healing the wounds of the past and preventing sexual abuse in the future.”
For those unable to attend, the bishop is encouraging priests to pray during Masses celebrated on that day for victims for their healing, justice and reconciliation; for repentance by perpetrators of abuse; and for the church that it may promote a spirit of transparency, justice, repentance and hope for the future. All the faithful are invited to adopt additional practices of prayer, fasting or charity for their intentions that day.
In the release, the bishop also urged any victim of priest sexual abuse to contact the diocese’s Office of Professional Responsibility at 321-7836 or local law enforcement.
Catholic churches open this week for confession
PORTLAND — Catholic churches in Maine will be open for confession and quiet prayer this week, according to a press release issued Monday by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland.
The initiative, “The Light is On for You,” will help worshipers prepare for the celebration of Easter on April 8.
During the week before Holy Week, at least one church in every parish will be open for confession. The locations for confession will be determined locally and the location may move among the churches of a parish, according to Sue Bernard, spokeswoman for the diocese.
“Catholics in Maine, especially those who have been away for a while from the church or the confessional, are invited to experience God’s mercy and forgiveness through the sacrament of reconciliation,” she said in the release.
To find the dates and times, visit www.portlanddiocese.org.