Nicholas Clifford and Dennis O’Brien, two frequent contributors to Commonweal, have proposed that Sunday May 19, 2002, the Feast of Pentecost, be considered a special day of prayer for the reform of the Catholic Church. To that end, they suggest the use of petitions like the ones that follow.
On this Solemnity of Pentecost, when the whole church gathers in faith to celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit, the indwelling of the same Holy Spirit in all who seek to follow the Lord’s ways, we pray for our church, and for strength in the adversities that beset it.
• For our church leaders, that in their fidelity to Christ’s call to preach and live the values of the gospel, they find their strength in humble service and never in the external trappings of pomp, power, and worldly prestige; let us pray to the Lord.
• For the whole church, that it may be truly catholic, universal, and open, its members humbly ready ever to learn from one another; let us pray to the Lord.
• For all the men, women, and children, who have been the victims, in their different ways, of those holding positions of authority in the church; let us pray to the Lord.
• For laywomen and laymen everywhere, that they may not be tempted by despair and cynicism, and that they may become a source of strength and help to the church in its reflection of the values of the gospel; let us pray to the Lord.
• For all our members, that we may never lack the courage to respond to the Spirit’s invitation for the reformation and renewal both of our own lives and of the church, and that, in our different callings, we all seek to serve; let us pray to the Lord.