October 31, 2018
Dear Friends in Christ,
Every November, the bishops of the United States gather to discuss pending business and decisions which will affect the Catholic Church of the United States over the next year. This year we will be meeting from November 12 through 14. As we gather we are reminded of the sin and scandal which plague our Catholic Church because of the clergy sexual abuse crisis.
During this meeting we will be making critical decisions in response to this crisis and we need an outpouring of the Holy Spirit to help guide our decisions. Therefore, I will be joining with the other U.S. Bishops in dedicating myself to seven days of intensified prayer and fasting, from Monday, November 5, to Sunday, November 11, leading up to this meeting. The intentions for this period of prayer and sacrifice are three-fold:
• For the healing and support of all victims of clergy sexual abuse.
• For the conversion and just punishment of the perpetrators and concealers of sexual abuse.
• For the strength of the bishops to be holy shepherds in protecting and leading our sheep from all harm.
This call to prayer and sacrifice is specifically for the bishops; however, I welcome you to join me if you feel called to do so. I would be grateful for any prayers you wish to offer up for me and my brother bishops.
We continue to pray for the survivors of sexual abuse, for just punishment of those who have committed this sin and those who helped to cover it up, and the restoration of hope in our beautiful Church.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend David J. Walkowiak
Bishop of Grand Rapids