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20160708T1503 4547 CNS DALLAS POLICE DEATHS 800A sign is displayed during an interfaith prayer vigil in Thanksgiving Square in Dallas July 8. (CNS photo/Erik Lesser, EPA)

NEW HAVEN – Following a week of violence across the United States, the Knights of Columbus has called for a novena of prayer to heal the wounds and divisions afflicting this country.

Knights and their families, and all people of good will, are encouraged to join in the nine days of prayer that will run from July 14-22 by praying St. Francis of Assisi's Prayer for Peace:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

"The violent episodes of the past week have shocked the conscience of our country," said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. "Through this prayer, each of us has the opportunity to help transcend hatred and violence by personally committing to the concepts of love of neighbor, peace and forgiveness that are central to an authentic embrace of Christianity. It is our hope that, from coast to coast, those who pray this prayer will become true instruments of peace."

The Knights' supreme chaplain, Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, also urged people to join this prayer campaign: "During this Year of Mercy, let us pray for an end to violence and senseless killings," he said. "Through our prayers and good works, may we help build a society that is merciful, just and peaceful."

Founded in 1882 in New Haven, by the Venerable Servant of God Father Michael McGivney, the Knights of Columbus is the world's largest Catholic fraternal group with nearly 2 million members worldwide.

alertAt the Spring Assembly of the U.S. bishops, Cardinal Joseph Tobin suggested that a delegation ofbishops go to the border to see for themselves what was happening to newly arrived immigrants, families and children. On July 1 and 2, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. bishops conference, and five other bishops conducted a pastoral visit to the diocese of Brownsville, Texas. Stops included Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle with the community, a visit to anHHS/OBR Shelter and Mass for the families there, a visit to the Customs and Border Patrol processing center in McAllen, TX, and a press conference at the end of their visit. Catholic News Service accompanied the bishops on their border trip. 

  1. Backgrounder and analysis of the bishops’ trip to the border: Cardinal DiNardo told CNS, “You cannot look at immigration as an abstraction when you meet” the people behind the issue.
  2. At final press conference, Cardinal Daniel Dinardo said the church was willing to be part of any conversation to find humane solutions because even a policy of detaining families together in facilities caused “concern.”
  3. Bishops serve soup to immigrant families at a center run by Catholic Charities and listen to their stories. Scranton Bishop Joseph Bambera said he found hope in hearing the people in the room talk about what’s ahead. They didn’t speak of making money but of finding safety for their children, he said, driven by “the most basic instinct to protect your family.”
  4. At an opening Mass he Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle-National Shrine near McAllen, Texas, Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville told Massgoers, “The bishops are visiting here so they can stop and look and talk to people and understand, especially the suffering of many who are amongst us,”

A delegation of U.S. bishops goes on a fact-finding mission at the U.S.-Mexican border to learn more about Central American immigration detention.

Following their visit to an immigrant detention center, U.S. bishops said they are even more determined to call on Congress for comprehensive immigration reform.