I just read a news report about how Catholic families are continuing to flee Iraq, heading to the Kurdish region in the northern part of that country.
That is why we need to keep up our prayers and Rosaries for our persecuted brothers and sister in Iraq. They are all members of the same Mystical Body of Christ as we are, the Holy Roman Catholic Church, and we must remember that what affects one member, affects all of us.
Actually, as you know, America Needs Fatima moved a worldwide Rosary rally not too long ago for the 400,000 (down from 1.3 million a few years ago) persecuted Catholics in Iraq, as a follow up to the bloody murder of Iraqi Catholics by Islamic terrorists inside a church in Baghdad last October 31, 2010.
Generating keen interest
News of the worldwide rosary rally went viral on the internet with dozens of websites and blogs reporting on it. Thousands joined all over the world.
Most notably, interest on the event spurred a lot of personal emails with an overwhelmingly positive response. ANF’s Facebook page was also abuzz as registered users helped to inform others. The phenomenon exhibited similar results on this blog.
Indignation and solidarity
Feedbacks and repercussion revealed outrage over the incident as well as sadness and pity for the victims. It also spurred commitments to pray the Rosary, to participate in a rosary rally and to invite friends to join them. Some expressed puzzlement and dismay over the lukewarm attitude encountered towards their initiative to organize a rosary rally.
Mass for victims
The Chaldean Community in Southfield, Michigan gathered for a Mass on the same day (Nov. 23) in honor of the massacre victims at the Mother of God Chaldean Catholic Church. The event was organized by a lady in that community who had hosted an America Needs Fatima home visit in 2003.
A TFP director and ANF representative Preston Noell III who attended the affair reported that around 300 people came. He added that the priest’s sermon struck a serious tone as he spoke about death, possibly a martyr’s death. The priest asked:
“Are you ready to meet God in a month? In a week? In an hour? This very minute? Those martyred in Iraq did not know from one second to the next whether they would be sent to their Creator. Are you ready? And how many of you would overcome such obstacles to pray and get to church. We have the freedom to do that here and we must make use of it while we can.”
After Mass, the congregation prayed the Rosary and the lady organizer asked Mr. Noell to lead the first decade.
A call for reflection
Let us remind ourselves in the comfort of our homes that countless of our fellow Catholics around the world are in constant fear and suffer unjust persecution for their Faith. Amidst the freedom we enjoy here in the U.S., let us not forget our persecuted brothers and sisters in Iraq.