This booklet was put together in response to Pope Benedict XVIs request to the people of Ireland for prayers of reparation and repentance for the sins and crimes of clerical abuse of children. It was used every day at the Intercession for Priests at All Hallows College by both priests and laity, and is an initiative since taken up by many parishes throughout Ireland.
Fr Kevin Scallon CM is a priest of the Vincentian Community. Born in Ireland, in his early years he ministered in both England and Nigeria. In 1976, Fr Kevin, while on the faculty of All Hallows College, started the Intercession for Priests in Ireland. Since then he, along with Sr Briege McKenna, has been ministering to priests and lay people across the world.
- PRAYERS OF REPARATION AND REPENTANCE
Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament Reading from Scripture
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, Gods own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. Once you were no people but now you are Gods people; once you had not received mercy but now you have received mercy. (1 Peter 2:9-10)
PSALM 50 (51)
Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness.
In your compassion blot out my offence.
O wash me more and more from my guilt
and cleanse me from my sin.
My offences truly I know them;
my sin is always before me.
Against you, you alone, have I sinned;
what is evil in your sight I have done.
That you may be justified when you give sentence
and be without reproach when you judge.
O see, in guilt I was born,
a sinner was I conceived.
Indeed you love truth in the heart;
then in the secret of my heart teach me wisdom.
O purify me, then I shall be clean;
O wash me, I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me hear rejoicing and gladness,
that the bones you have crushed may revive.
From my sins turn away your face
and blot out all my guilt.
A pure heart create for me, O God,
put a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence,
nor deprive me of your holy spirit.
Give me again the joy of your help;
with a spirit of fervour sustain me,
that I may teach transgressors your ways
and sinners may return to you.
O rescue me, God, my helper,
and my tongue shall ring out your goodness.
O Lord, open my lips
and my mouth shall declare your praise.
For in sacrifice you take no delight,
burnt offering from me you would refuse,
my sacrifice, a contrite spirit.
A humbled, contrite heart you will not spurn.
In your goodness, show favour to Zion:
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
Then you will be pleased with lawful sacrifice,
holocausts offered on your altar.
Pause for silent prayer/hymn
Lord Jesus, Think on Me (or other suitable hymn)
Read: Whence I, once rustic, exiled, unlearned, who does not know how to
provide for the future, this at least I know most certainly that before I
was humiliated I was like a stone lying in the deep mire; and he that is
mighty came and in his mercy lifted me up, and raised me aloft, and
placed me on the top of the wall. And therefore I ought to cry out aloud
and so also render something to the Lord for his great benefits here
and in eternity , benefits which the mind of men is unable to
appraise. (Confessions of St Patrick)
AN ACT OF REPARATION
Merciful Father, with love and trust we come before you.
We invoke the intercession of our great patriarch St Patrick
and all the Saints of Ireland in this time of humiliation.
What you did for him, do now for us.
We are sunk in the mire of our shame and our sin is always before us.
We remember in times passed,
how you helped us in our suffering and never refused us your mercy.
We recall how you blessed our people by raising up great servants of the
gospel who planted the cross of your son Jesus in distant lands.
Father, look on the witness of these men and women of faith.
Help us in this time of affliction and accept
our repentance and our reparation.
Our human solutions have failed us.
We had not acknowledged our sins and the offence caused to you, our God.
We tremble at the sufferings of your innocent children.
We recoil from the darkness that has entered into those who
have betrayed their ministry in the Church.
Loving Father, send your Spirit of holiness and strength
upon those who have suffered.
No human skill can heal such wounds.
Only the oil of gladness, your Holy Spirit,
can soothe the memory of such pain.
Father, we present to you the most perfect reparation of all.
In the Holy Eucharist we offer you the body and blood,
soul and divinity of your dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
May the blood of his holy cross bring atonement and wholeness
to your afflicted children.
We make this prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(With permission of Superiors)
PRAYER OF REPARATION AND REPENTANCE
Most Holy Triune God, we come before you to make reparation for the
sins and crimes of ministers in the Church against your innocent children.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we beg you to accept our atonement for
these offences against your infinite holiness. Father, look on the precious
blood of your Son, the price he paid to save us from sin and death.
Accept, Lord Jesus, our hearts broken by the burden of sorrow.
Pay heed, O Holy Spirit, to the cry of our reparation and repentance.
Glory be to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit (three times)
Pause for silent prayer or instrumental music/hymn
LITANY OF ALL THE SAINTS OF IRELAND (RECITED SLOWLY)
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, Sanctifier of the Elect, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one only God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Queen of Ireland, pray for us.
Holy Angels, Guardians of Ireland,
Glorious St Patrick, Apostle of Ireland,
St Brigid, Mother of the Churches of Ireland,