Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Please Pray for our Sisters and Brothers in Arizona

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Beloved National Family,

As we gather in churches, families and fraternities this holy last Sunday of the Christmas Season, the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, let us pray for our brothers and sisters in Arizona, for the souls of those who have been slain including Federal Judge John Roll, who had just been to daily Mass; nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green, born on September 11, 2001 and who had recently made her first Holy Communion; Gabe Zimmerman and three others; let us pray for U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords and perhaps 17 others wounded, as well as all of us who are traumatized and depressed by this horrible act.

The sheriff of Pima County Arizona has been quoted in today's newspaper saying, "The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous, and unfortunately Arizona has become sort of the capital. We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry." Having recently participated in our National Chapter in Arizona with Sue Simeone and all the good people of her Region, including our NAFRA Peace Award winner Brother David Buer, OFM, I cannot believe the sheriff's words to be true, but let us all pray in solidarity with the good people of Arizona that Arizona and all of us in our beloved United States will be people of love and people of peace.

We can never give in to the forces of evil; rather, evil must be overcome by good through the grace of God, the sacrifice of God's Son and the working of the Holy Spirit. Let us never cease our prayers, never lose faith, never surrender hope, never run away from God's command to love. Let us all continue as good Franciscans to be instruments of God's Peace.

With love and peace, Tom Bello National Minister Secular Franciscan Order The United States of America