Steadfast in Faith / Prayer in Response to Terrorism - Letter from Fr. Gagne

Dear Parishioners,

Once again, we mourn the loss of people who were targets of hatred and
terrorism. Our hearts, and prayers, and thoughts are with those who are mourning and grieving. There are no words that can adequately express what we all feel at this time.

I have heard people say that we need more than just prayer to respond to such violence and senseless tragedy. I respectfully disagree. I believe prayer is the only power that can save us against such evil. Jesus tells us that certain demons can only be cast out through prayer and fasting.

As church, we condemn all forms of hatred, homophobia, racism, terrorism, religious-intolerance, and any thing that diminishes the dignity of the human person. We must conform ourselves, as St. Paul tells, to Christ and his gospel, for these are evil times.

Only through prayer and fasting can we have the grace to stand in faith and solidarity with those who suffer so unjustly these sins against God’s love.

As a faith community we must preach and live the gospel, in season and out of season, and not delude ourselves into thinking that what goes on in church has nothing to do with what goes on in the market place. We cannot separate our religious beliefs from our political, and every day life.

St. Peter’s Parish welcomes everyone to worship and pray together in an atmosphere of mutual support and respect. We must model in ourselves the change that we want to see in the world. To that end I, as your pastor, pledge my efforts, and ask for your prayers, as we go forward during these difficult and challenging times.

The word’s of St. Peter seem appropriate for us, “ Be sober and vigilant, your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing your fellow believers throughout the world undergo the same sufferings.” (1 Peter 5:8)

May God bless us with his peace, and give us the desire to work for that justice which brings about peace.

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Roger C. Gagne

Oh God, we are one with You. You have made us one with You. You have taught us that if we are open to one another, You dwell in us. Help us to preserve this openness and to fight for it with all our hearts. Help us to realize that there can be no understanding where there is mutual rejection. Oh God, in accepting one another wholeheartedly, fully, completely, we accept You, and we thank You, and we adore You, and we love You with our whole being, because our being is in Your being, our spirit is rooted in Your spirit. Fill us then with love, and let us be bound together with love as we go our diverse ways, united in this one spirit which makes You present in the world, and which makes You witness to the ultimate reality that is love. Love has overcome. Love is victorious…
— Thomas Merton
Mary Bonneville