Pittsburgh sister offers reflection, prayer for inauguration

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Sister Patricia McCann believes that we all can identify with the characters in the Good Samaritan story to which Pope Francis refers in his encyclical Fratelli Tutti.

“Concerned about our broken world, Pope Francis called for solidarity within the human community—brotherhood and sisterhood, awareness of ‘our common home,’” she noted in a reflection that preceded her prayer.

She added, “Gospel faith calls each of us to be the Good Samaritan, to bind the wounds of brokenness and to participate in the healing by reaching out to our neighbor with compassion and tangible assistance.”

The Sister of Mercy from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a prolific writer on social issues, was a presenter on a prayer service on Zoom titled “A Catholic Evening of Reflection and Prayer: Healing, Accountability, Truth and Hope” on January 19. It was the night before the nation’s second-ever Catholic president, Joe Biden, was sworn in.

The call also included Nichole Flores, a professor at the University of Virginia; Thomas Groome, a professor at Boston College; Father Bryan Massingale, a retired educator and social justice advocate from Fordham University; and Kate Williams, a music minister and senior managing editor at GIA Publications, Inc.

Sister Pat said our God-given humanity “transcends whether we are black or white; Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu—or any of the multiple belief or values systems people live by; male or female; gay, straight, LGBQT. As Francis said, faith calls all of us to be neighbors who, with God’s grace, work together to build the common good.”

Calling on people of good will to build bridges rather than fences, Sister Pat prayed for the new president and for Vice President Kamala Harris and asked God to “help us to reject violence, ignorance, racism and bigotry of every kind. Grant us wisdom, truth, courage, integrity and mercy toward all. Enable us to rejoice in the diversity which you designed in your creation so that all people can live in harmony and peace.”