Healing Novena Prayer Unites Catholics in Archdiocese of Chicago and Beyond

Posted on September 17, 2018

In response to the clergy sexual abuse crisis, Mundelein Seminary organized a Novena for the Healing of Our Church from Sept. 7 through Sept. 15. For nine days, Catholics throughout the Archdiocese of Chicago and around the country united in prayer for healing, justice and hope by attending special Masses at parishes throughout the Archdiocese or receiving the Novena prayer via email.

“It would be naïve–even cruel–to suggest that these nine evenings of prayer for healing in the Church would be enough to move forward,” , said Father John Kartje, rector of Mundelein Seminary, at the Novena’s closing Mass at Holy Name Cathedral. “But it would also be true that any work of conversion or transformation in the Church that isn’t grounded on prayer would ultimately be doomed to fail.”

More than 1,000 people signed up to join the digital version of the novena prayer, and hundreds more attended the nine Masses at geographically and culturally diverse parishes throughout the Chicago area.

Mundelein seminarians attended each of the Masses–serving in the liturgies, greeting parishioners, handing out prayer cards and leading the congregation in the Novena prayer at the conclusion of Mass. It was a wonderful opportunity for these future priests to spend time with local Catholics, joining them both in prayer and conversation over the current challenges facing the Church. Many parishioners voiced their gratitude for the opportunity to engage in cathartic prayer and expressed their hope for the future of the Church in the prayerful witness of the seminarians.

We are grateful to the following parishes who hosted Novena Masses: St. Columbanus in Chicago; Mary, Seat of Wisdom in Park Ridge; St. James Wabash in Chicago; St. Julie in Tinley Park; St. Anastasia in Waukegan; St. Theresa in Palatine; Our Lady Mother of the Church Polish Mission in Willow Springs; Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago.

Browse the videos and photos below to see highlights from the Novena Masses.

Watch Father John Kartje's homily from the opening Novena Mass at the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception at USML/Mundelein Seminary.

Watch the closing Novena Mass held at Holy Name Cathedral and celebrated by Cardinal Blase Cupich.