Bishop John Noonan has asked for all parishes of the Orlando Diocese to observe September as a Penitential month and to set aside one day of Penitential prayer and fasting, in solidarity with all those who have been affected by clerical abuse.
At St. Stephen, we have set aside our day for Thursday September 20th as the day of prayer, fasting and adoration, beginning in the Chapel with Mass at 7 am, following at the end of Mass with the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament all day, ending with Benediction at 6 pm.
The Chapel will be open all day and all are invited to come and spend some time in prayer and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
Prayer of Forgiveness by Bishop Noonan:
Heavenly Father, as we celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Diocese of Orlando, I pray that you stay with us, O Lord.
I come before you humbly and I ask forgiveness for the cases of abuse in the Diocese of Orlando, the
abuse of power, the abuse of conscience and sexual abuse on the part of representatives of this local
Church. We ask forgiveness.
I ask forgiveness for all those times when, as a Church, we did not offer to the victims of any type of
abuse compassion and the pursuit of justice and truth by concrete actions. We ask forgiveness.
I ask forgiveness for some members of the hierarchy who took no responsibility for these painful
situations and kept silent. We ask forgiveness.
Grant me the strength to be vigilant and safeguard Your holy people. Amen.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend John Noonan
Bishop of Orlando