Our Response to the Abuse Scandal: #SackClothandAshes

The Holy Father has just sent this letter to Catholics Worldwide: Letter of His Holiness Pope Francis to the People of God


He encourages us to pray and do penance so “that we may grow in the gift of compassion, in justice, prevention and reparation.”

Meanwhile, a whole whack of Catholic Bloggers led by Kendra Tierney and Bonnie Engstrom have initiated a prayer and penance campaign #sackclothandashes that starts today! It’s kind of like an extra Lent this year: 40 days of extra prayer and fasting and sacrifices (Acts of Reparation)  to console the heart of Jesus and show support and pray for the 1000+ victims of abuse.

Kendra and Bonnie write:

We decided to champion a campaign of Acts of Reparation by the faithful. We decided that we would personally pledge to observe a period of prayer and fasting, and we would invite other Catholics to join us. The response has been humbling and heartening. Catholic bloggers, artists, podcasters, reporters, and social media content creators all immediately wanted in.

We are Catholic, faithful to the Magisterium and disgusted by the abuse and cover-ups that have plagued the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. We are heartsick over the 1000+ victims of abuse in the state of Pennsylvania and all the other boys and girls, men and women who have been sexually abused by priests and further victimized by the bishops who covered up these crimes. We pray for justice for the victims and their families and communities. We believe in the Catholic Church, founded by Christ and sustained by the Eucharist. We are one body in Christ. As such, we invite you to join us in observing a forty day period of prayer and fasting as an act of reparation to God for these sins. From the feast of the Queenship of Mary on August 22, through the month of September, we will join our sorrow with Our Lady of Sorrows, and make daily sacrifices appropriate to our own circumstances for this intention.

So for those who would like to join us, this special Feast Day today, the Queenship of Mary is a little like Ash Wednesday this year, launching a 40 day period of prayer and penance.

Kendra even put together a neat graphic for alternate ideas for fasting.






In addition to no snacks and no Coke Zero, I’m thinking that I’ll start saying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy along with the daily Rosary.

If you’re looking to add the devotions to your family prayer time, I’ve got a couple Rosary and Divine Mercy crafts to make it easier for little ones.

Here’s a good explanation of Acts of Reparation:


Also…#prayforpriests !

Behind each priest, there is a demon fighting for his fall.

If we have the language to criticize them.

We must have twice as much to pray for them. St Teresa of Avila.

We still have many, many priests who strive for holiness, are faithful to their vows, bring us the sacraments and celebrate the Mass with reverence and awe. They are awesome…and they need our prayer even more during this difficult time. Even Jesus chose the Apostle who betrayed him; we don’t need to be surprised to find evil in our Church. The evil one is doing his best but we’ve got Jesus on our team.

Adopt a priest.

Adopt a Bishop.

Watch this video from Fr. Larry Richards.

Pray for strength of priests.

Pray for the cleansing of our Church.


Pray for healing for all the victims of abuse.

Pray! We need to bring Jesus’ Light into the Darkness.


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