Keep the Faith, Change the Church.

2014 Assembly: Opening & Closing Prayers

Opening Prayer by Joanne Moran

Closing Prayer by Carolyn Disco

Opening: The Lord's Prayer from Tradition and for Today

People: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

Leader: Our Father, Our Mother, Creator of all, who offers us an expanding and evolving universe, blessed be your name and nature, the source of life, love and mercy.

People: Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Leader: May your creation of abundance, potential and peace be fulfilled through the works of mercy and justice. May your Will be accomplished in our time through the efforts of all who speak and act for righteousness, among them: the United Nations Commission for the Rights of the Child; Voice of the Faithful; the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests; all those involved in the work of Restorative Justice; the Leadership Conference of Women Religious; those in the media and legal professions who have pursued malfeasance; priests who have risked official sanctions in order to seek and speak the truth; the Catholic Whistleblowers; and Catholic Organizations for Renewal.

People: Give us this day our daily bread …

Leader: Give us today in 2014 the bread of wisdom and the wine of compassion.

People: and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us …

Leader: Forgive us any self-righteousness, vindictive judgment and lack of charity in our pursuit of justice. Help us to remember that to forgive is not to forget that there are those among us who have disfigured your face by their abuse of power but help us to enter into a life-giving process of forgiveness through prayerful reflection, a deep desire for reconciliation and the willingness to do the hard work of restorative justice.

People: and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

Leader: In humility, lead us to an awareness that our gifts and best intentions may carry within them the seeds of future brokenness and save us from world-weary cynicism and despair.

People: For thine is the Kingdom, and the power and the glory …

Leader: For indeed, we confess in thanksgiving and joy beyond telling, that yours is the Kingdom where all shall be one, and yours is the power of love and yours is the shining fullness of eternal glory …

All: forever and ever. Amen.

Closing: Prayer of Gratitude

We thank you, Lord, for bringing us together in your name as Voice of the Faithful.

For awakening our hearts with your presence,
And our spirits with mutual friendship.
For learning of the actions necessary to reform your Church.
For the speakers, workshop leaders, planners, writers, volunteers, participants,
all who contributed time and talent to make this day possible.

We thank you, Lord, for this field hospital after the battles of recent decades.

Let us bind the wounds of survivors of clergy sexual abuse and its cover-ups.
Bring us pastors who offer living water through listening and discernment.
Let the People of God find inner peace in harmony with you, ourselves and each other.
Give us fresh and green pastures for our repose, beside restful waters.

We thank you, Lord, for your love for us,

That we may see and trust it clearly and profoundly.
Use our imaginations to stir our deepest desire to be one with you.
Let that reality support our work for greater transparency and accountability,
So that your will may prevail in our midst.

In the words of the psalmist, for Voice of the Faithful, we pray:

O send forth your light and your truth;
Let these be our guide.
Let them bring us to your holy mountain,
To the place where you dwell.
And we will come to your altar, Oh God,
The God of our joy.