Today is the feast of the Transfiguration. In the each of the Synoptic Gospels, this event is followed by the account of a father whose child is possessed by a devil; he had already brought the child to the disciples, but they could not heal him, and so he brings the boy to Christ. After He has cast the devil out, the disciples ask Christ why they could not do it, and the Lord answers them, “This kind only is only cast out through fasting and prayer.”
The Oklahoma Civic Center Music Hall in Oklahoma City is planning on hosting a “black Mass” on September 21st. His Grace Paul Coakley, the Archbishop of Oklahoma City, has called upon all of the Catholics of his diocese to join in prayer against this event. The full text of the letter can be read here.
In spite of repeated requests, there has been no indication that the City intends to prevent this event from taking place. ... Since it seems this event will not be cancelled, I am calling on all Catholics of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City to counteract this challenge to faith and decency through prayer and penance. Specifically, I am asking that the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel be included at the conclusion of every Mass, beginning on the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord (August 6) and continuing through the Feast of the Archangels (September 29). I invite all Catholics to pray daily for divine protection through the intercession of this heavenly patron who once defeated Lucifer in his rebellion against the Almighty and who stands ready to assist us in this hour of need.
Secondly, I am asking that each parish conduct a Eucharistic Holy Hour with Benediction to honor Christ’s Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist, between the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (August 15) and September 21, to avert this proposed sacrilege.
Finally, I invite all Catholics, Christians and people of good will to join me in prayer for a Holy Hour, outdoor Eucharistic Procession and Benediction at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Oklahoma City at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 21, the day of the proposed sacrilege. We will pray to avert this sacrilege and publicly manifest our faith in the Lord and our loving gratitude for the gift of the Holy Eucharist, the source and summit of our lives.
A printable version of the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel is available in English, Spanish and Vietnamese on the archdiocesan website (www.archokc.org). If you have not yet done so, I urge you to contact the Office of the Mayor, the Honorable Mick Cornett, to express your outrage over this offensive and blasphemous sacrilege and this misuse of a tax-supported public space.The bishop of the neighboring diocese of Tulsa, His Excellency Edmund Slattery, has issued the following letter, in support of Archbishop Coakley’s initiative. Click here for the full text.
Commending our efforts to the Lord through the loving intercession of Mary, the Mother of God, I am
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Paul S. Coakley Archbishop of Oklahoma City
...I am asking the faithful Catholics in the Diocese of Tulsa to fight this blasphemy through prayer and fasting: 1. Please keep the nine days prior to the Feast of the Assumption as an extraordinary period of prayer and penance. I am asking every Catholic to abstain from all meat and meat products from August 6 through the 14th. I am also asking that you consecrate your hunger with a daily recitation of a decade of the rosary and the familiar Prayer to Saint Michael. Printed copies of these prayers are available in the bulletin and at the entrances of the church. Be strong and encourage your friends to also be strong.
2. On Assumption Day, August 15th, we will ask Our Lady on her Feast, to intercede for us and protect us. On that day I in the Cathedral, and every priest in his own parish, will pray a special prayer written by Pope Leo XIII for the defense of the Church against the attack of the Enemy and his apostate angels.
3. Should these prayers and this period of fasting not effect the cancellation of this event, then I will ask every priest in the Diocese to conduct a Eucharistic Holy Hour on September 21 at the same time (7:00 p.m.) as this profanity is being celebrated in Oklahoma City. Wherever possible, I ask that Eucharistic Processions - especially outdoor processions - be arranged as part of these holy hours. Let us give a public witness to our faith in the Eucharist which is being so profoundly mocked and ridiculed by this event.
From the snares of the devil, deliver us, O Lord!I would suggest to all of our readers that we join the good bishops and the Catholics of Oklahoma with some act of prayer and mortification to help cast out this devil. Let us remember the success of similar acts of reparation and adoration which recently took place at Harvard University. The Catholic News Agency reports that the group responsible for this event in Oklahoma has held other mockeries of Catholic rites (though not of quite this sort) in the past; the first had about 50 people present, the second about 12, and the third none at all.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Rev. Edward J. Slattery
Bishop of Tulsa