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St. Louis Church in Alexandria prays Holy Hours of Reparation

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Beginning Aug. 20, parishioners at St. Louis Church in Alexandria will pray five Holy Hours of Reparation in response to the abuse crisis in the church.

Father Keith M. O’Hare, pastor, said people want to do something. “You can pray by yourself but when you come together, you feel like you are doing something. Prayer does do something.” 

More than 80 people attended the first Holy Hour Aug. 20. The bilingual evening began with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Scripture readings, a homily, quiet prayer time, the rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.  

During his homily, Father O’Hare said, “We are on our knees for prayer and penance for our own sins first and then praying for the repentance and healing of the church.”

Joanne Robertson attended the event. “This is an important part of my daily prayer,” she said. “A lot of humility is going to be required on the part of the people doing the work — the bishops and cardinals, and we ourselves need to be encouraging to those priests who are faithful and good so they feel loved and supported.” 

Sonny Masso has been praying daily for the entire situation, including rosaries and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. “It’s really important to me that we not just heal but also find a way to mitigate this so it never happens again,” he said. “It’s an important gesture for my family that, as a father, it is that important to me and that my faith means a lot to me.” 

Father O’Hare didn’t know what kind of a response the Holy Hour would receive. 

“It was important to me that even if not many people came, the people who didn’t come know it is happening,” said Father O’Hare. “That is consoling, too. People want to know that the leaders of their parish take this seriously. Doing something that is not usual helps them know you take it seriously.” 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2018