The annual 4th of July morning of prayer for Life and for America was held at the Marian Shrine (The Salesian National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians) at Stony Point yesterday. The Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament was followed by Mass at noon. Concelebrants were Fr. Brendan Gormley, of St. Barnabas in the Bronx, and Fr. Nicholas Callahan, formerly of St. Catherine’s in Blauvelt and now studying canon law in Rome. While serving in Rockland, both priests were active in the prolife movement here.
Also part of the morning of prayer were Fr. John Palatucci and seminarian John Wilson from St. Paul’s in Congers. Mr. Wilson is slated to be ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of New York next year.
In his homily, Fr. Brendan noted that the greatest challenge of our spiritual life is to “become who we are” — and that is the Body of Christ. Nobody’s quite there yet, he said, but the way to acheive this goal is to give God permission to take over and lead us — by prayer, fasting, and giving up some of the harmless things that nevertheless distract us from Him.
Likewise, with America, Fr. Brendan continued. It is our great and beloved country, but it’s not perfect either, having moved God aside to allow secularism to substitute for God’s truth.
But in spite of our country’s failings — among which are the 53 million unborn children who have been have been aborted since 1973 — we must remember that God is still in charge and that He will triumph, he said.
Keeping in mind the two great miracles of God’s love for us, his resurrection to new life and the gift of Himself through the Eucharist, and with the help of his faithful mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, we can become the people we were called to be — and the nation we were meant to be, Father Brendan concluded.
This morning of prayer was sponsored by the Rockland County Catholic Coalition and the Helpers of Gods’ Precious Infants. Eileen Peterson was organist and cantor.