By Matthew Gambino

In a dramatic appeal, last week Cardinal Justin Rigali invited the faithful to pray the rosary each day for victims of sexual abuse and for priests in the Archdiocese.

Near the conclusion of the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday last week, the Cardinal addressed the more than 350 priests and the congregation in the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul as “dear friends in Christ.”


He acknowledged the prayers that Catholics pray daily for the Church, but added that recently he received many requests “asking specifically for prayers to our Blessed Mother for victims of abuse and for our priests who so faithfully serve our Archdiocese,” the Cardinal said. “In this regard, I am now asking all our people to pray the rosary daily, remembering these intentions.”

Each year at the Chrism Mass, priests of a diocese join with their bishop to renew the promises of celibacy and obedience that they made at their ordination. It is common for priests to obtain the sacred oils, including chrism, blessed by the bishop at the Mass. These oils are used throughout the year in the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, anointing of the sick and holy orders.

While Catholics traditionally consider May a month to intensify their devotion and prayers to Mary, the Cardinal linked the rosary to the need for prayers during the Archdiocese’s ongoing crisis of sexual abuse especially by some clergy.

“Whether you pray the rosary inspanidually or as a family gathered together or in a group, I am asking that we all turn to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Woman of the Eucharist, Mother of priests and Mother of the Church and make our petition known to her,” the Cardinal said.

“And as the Mother of Jesus and our loving Mother, she will certainly hear our prayers and intercede for us.”