At Saint Joseph Cathedral, Bishop Malone held an #AshWednesday Mass where he lit a purple vigil candle for a Year of Prayer for the Healing of Victims of Clergy Sexual Abuse and for the Church. The candle will burn perpetually throughout the Year of Prayer and Healing before the statue of St. Joseph, the patron of the Diocese of Buffalo. Throughout the Year of Prayer and Healing, each vicariate throughout the diocese will host a special time of prayer. The vicars and pastors of all parishes are asked to light a similar candle in their church now or in the month of their event.

Beside the candle will be the Buffalo Diocese’s Prayer for the Year of Healing:

O Merciful Father,
Your Son in Love stretched out his hands upon the cross to embrace us.

Embrace and heal our brothers and sisters
who carry the wounds of abuse inflicted upon them.

Heal Your Church broken by this betrayal of trust.

Cleanse and sanctify Your Clergy
that they may radiate the selfless love of Your Son.

And strengthen and call the people of the Church throughout
Western New York to a new dawn of hope
and grace in your Holy Spirit.

We ask this through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord.

This candle burns to so we never forget the harm caused to individuals by the betrayal of trust within the Church. It represents sorrow for these actions ever occurring and the light of hope for healing.