Schools and parishes across the Diocese of Brentwood will be praying the prayer of Saint Francis for those who lost their lives in the New Zealand mosque attacks this week. Bishop Alan Williams sm has written to all priests, deacons, religious and schools to share his response to a message received from Bishop Paul Martin sm, the Bishop of Christchurch.
Bishop Alan was responding to the words of his brother bishop, written shortly after the terrorist attack:
“We are horrified at the violence that has been inflicted on people of our city this afternoon. Words cannot convey our distress. Our prayers are with those who are suffering. I invite you now, wherever you are, alone or with family, workmates or friends, to pray together in the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi.”
Bishop Alan responded:
“I offer my sincere condolences following the terror attack on two mosques in the city of Christchurch. These attacks have shocked all those who hold that respect for human life is an essential foundation for every society.
In the Diocese of Brentwood, England we will continue to pray for our Muslim brothers and sisters in Christchurch and elsewhere.
I have particularly asked our parishes and schools to join with your diocese in praying the Prayer of Saint Francis this coming Friday and Sunday (22nd/24th March).
We mourn this loss of life; we pray for the eternal repose of all who have died.”
The prayer of St. Francis of Assisi:
Lord, make us instruments of your peace:
where there is hatred, let us sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master,
grant that we may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.