Special Penitential Rite, Petitions Written for Diocese of San Bernardino

An attendee holds a candle and cross during a candlelight vigil in San Bernardino, Calif., Dec. 3 for the victims of the mass shooting the previous day at the Inland Regional Center. At least 14 people were killed when gunmen opened fire during a function at a center for people with developmental disabilities. (CNS photo/Mike Blake, Reuters) See MASS-SHOOTINGS-REACT Dec. 4, 2015.
Msgr. Gerard Lopez, Vicar General of the Diocese of San Bernardino, just sent this my way. It was composed by Sister Jeremy Gallet, SP, and Sister Marilu Covani, SP, both sisters of Providence of St. Mother Theodore Guerin from Indiana. This has been sent to pastors around the diocese.

Bishop Barnes has requested that all parishes use a special Penitential Rite for the next two Sundays of Advent responding to the violent events in our diocese. Attached you will find a copy of the Rite in English and Spanish as well as a suggestion for the Universal Prayer you may want to use in your parishes.

Feel free to translate this into other languages if you need them.

The prayers:


Throughout history God has manifested Divine Love and care for those who suffer from violence, hatred and oppression. As we come together to celebrate this Eucharist, let us pause in silence to pray for all victims of violence in all war-torn countries of the world, but especially today for those who were injured or lost their lives in the most recent San Bernardino shooting; for their co-workers and their families.

(Significant pause for silent prayer)

Presider, Deacon, or Cantor:

Lord Jesus, deliver us from self-centeredness and indifference. Help us to be caring and compassionate toward all people, no matter their race, religion, or country of origin… Lord have mercy; Senor ten piedad, Lord have mercy

Christ Jesus, deliver us from the silence that gives consent to abuse, violence and oppression. Grant us the passionate desire and strength to risk speaking for the common good…

Lord Jesus, deliver us from apathy, and hardness of heart. Give us sympathetic hearts to reach out to those around us who are in deep grief – especially the children of our diocese who are suffering from fear, confusion, and profound loss…

Christ Jesus, deliver us from the fear of speaking the truth. Help us to be a voice for the voiceless, for the poor, and for the ones who have no one to speak for them…

Lord Jesus, deliver us from social isolation and disinterest. Grant us the grace to join with our law enforcement and public officials to be sources of change, of healing and of love…

Christ Jesus, deliver us all from the sins of greed and privilege. Create in us a passion for living simply, and a sense of unity and equality with all peoples.


May almighty God have mercy on us,

forgive our sins, and bring us to everlasting life.


Suggestions for Universal Prayer

Sugerencias para la Oración Universal

For the recent victims of terror and violence in our city and diocese,

that they be freed from pain and fear, we pray to the Lord…

Por las victimas de terror y violencia en el reciente tiroteo en nuestra diócesis

Para que se alivien del dolor y el temor, oramos al Señor…

That all of us may be protected from the violence of others, be safe from weapons of hate, and restored to tranquility and peace, we pray to the Lord…

Para que todos puedan ser protegidos de la violencia de los demás y las armas del odio y podamos vivir en paz y bien, oramos al Señor

For those who harm and oppress others, that they may receive the grace to change their lives and to learn to live in peace, we pray to the Lord…

Por los que oprimen y hacen daño a otros, para que reciban la gracia de poder cambiar, y puedan vivir en paz con los demás, oramos al Señor

Photo: CNS/Reuters

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