Father Lankeit said the holy hour is "not directly connected to the tragedy," but noted that after holding a similar service after Father Walker’s murder, which included prayers for the conversion of the attacker, there was "a wonderful inflow of the Lord’s mercy throughout the Phoenix Catholic community."
"In light of that solidarity and, in light of the way the good Catholics (and others of good will) of the Archdiocese of Boston responded to the proposed ‘black mass’ at Harvard in May, it makes sense to gather around our Eucharistic Lord once again, through Our Lady’s intercession, to pray that the ‘black mass’ in Oklahoma be crushed like the serpent’s head."
"Too often, we Catholics become discouraged or even timid with the sheer number and frequency of attacks on the faith in America, whether from the government or elsewhere," he said. "Throughout Catholic history, when we have turned confidently to Jesus through Mary, miracles have resulted (think Battle of Lepanto). More recently, 20th Century history shows how afraid the agents of evil become when Christians stand in the light of Christ rather than cowering into the shadows (think Polish Catholics inspired by Pope St. John Paul II to resist the Communist government). The Polish Communists were beside themselves when the Catholics of that nation stood confidently in the light of Jesus Christ. Satan is terrified when confronted by the Body of Christ."
Father Lankeit added that the cathedral is planning another holy hour in August, this one for an end to the persecution of Christians in Iraq. "We have a vibrant Chaldean Catholic Community here in Phoenix, and I hope to have many from their community praying with us in the cathedral once the details of that liturgy are finalized and announced.
John Burger is news editor of Aleteia’s English edition.