9/11 and the Christian Call to Forgive

I have written before on the Christian call to forgive our enemies. It is not an easy thing–especially in light of 9/11–but is a requirement of discipleship none the less.

Our pastor, Monsignor Bognanno, was featured in the Des Moines Register this week.  He spoke about the need to forgive and pray for the terroists:

On Sept. 11, 2001, Msgr. Frank Bognanno had been assigned to Christ the King Catholic Church for only a few weeks. He didn’t really know the parishioners or how he could best minister to them to help them through the tragedy the country had just experienced.

But he knew one thing: His job was about salvation and mercy, not vengeance. So he initiated a special themed Mass on Tuesday nights.

Ten years later, the tradition is still going strong.

“I actually had been in Washington, D.C., giving a talk to Catholic chaplains when the first plane hit, and when we found out and turned on the television, we watched the second plane hit,” Bognanno said.

“We didn’t know if we were being attacked; we didn’t have any idea what was happening. All we could do was pray.

“When I was finally able to get out of Washington a few days later and come back home, I gave some thought to how to bring something positive about what had happened. And one day soon after, I said to the congregation, ‘You know what? This happened on a Tuesday, so every Tuesday from now on, we’re going to have a Mass for the terrorists.’ ”

To be specific, the Mass would be held for the conversion of terrorists, but rather to pray as a congregation for the souls of the terrorists who had died and for God to open the hearts of living terrorists, to enable them to see that God does not want them to kill. Continue Reading…….

About Susan Kehoe

I am the wife of a Catholic deacon living in Des Moines Iowa. My husband Larry was ordained in 2006. We have two children and five grandchildren.. Our daughter and her family live in Ireland, and our son and his family live in Franklin Massachusetts.
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