Thursday, June 28, 2012

Fortnight For Freedom - Day 8

     In our continuing reflections upon the freedom of religious belief and practice, I would like to share with you from a Prayer for Government sent in 1791 to all the parishes in his diocese by Archbishop John Carroll, the first bishop in the new United States of America and the bishop of Baltimore.

Prayer for Government

We pray you, O God of might, wisdom and justice,
through whom authority is rightly administered,
laws are enacted, and judgment decreed,
assist with your Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude
the President of these United States,
that his administration may be conducted in righteousness,
and be eminently useful to your people, over whom he presides,
by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion;
by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy;
and by restraining vice and immorality.
Let the light of your divine wisdom
direct the deliberations of Congress,
and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws
framed for our rule and government,
so that they may tend to the preservation of peace,
the promotion of national happiness,
the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge;
and may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty.

We recommend likewise, to your unbounded mercy,
all our fellow citizens throughout the United States,
that we may be blessed in the knowledge
and sanctified in the observance of your most holy law;
that we may be preserved in union,
and in the peace which the world cannot give;
and after enjoying the blessings of this life,
be admitted to those which are eternal.

     It is still a good and powerful prayer for our day, although a few of the basic premises upon which it is based may have changed: first that God is God, and there is no higher power ... that our law is based upon the law of God ... that freedom is a God given right and dignity ... and that government serves the good of the whole rather than be self-serving.  But those ideals upon which this prayer flows are in need of revival today.  And so, as Archbishop Carroll did long ago, I offer this prayer for these great United States of America.


     I received an email this afternoon from a classmate and good fried from Altoona, John Prosperi, who always keeps us informed in regard to our seminary alumni.  This was sad news - the death of Father J. Barry Furey of the Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut who died of a heart attack yesterday at the beginning of his vacation.  Barry was 67 years old.  He served as pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption parish in Fairfield.  Barry was a gifted musician and a dedicated priest.  While in seminary, he was part of a singing group called the "New Breed Five" - Barry, Bill Moot, Emil Payer, Joe Santisieri and Dave Rubino (if I remember correctly).  He wrote a song that we always sang in our seminary days entitled "Thank You, Lord".

     Please pray for Father Barry and his family and parish family.  May he rest in peace.

1 comment:

  1. RIP Father Barry you will be missed at assumption. Thank you for all you have done.