Our church was abruptly locked on Monday, February 26, 2007. When I heard that Father Eugene was scheduled to meet with the Cardinal on that morning, I suspected that the archdiocese would lock the church after the noon Mass, so I took the day off and went down there. I had the privilege of being among the first worshippers locked out of the building.The following was presented in the Sunday bulletin of February, 25, 2007, the last Sunday bulletin. Father Eugene put this verse before us in the spirit of "a thought, a prayer for Lent:"
"Don't tire of your world, Master.
Don't wash your hands of your children,
shaking us off as hopeless,
Give us one more chance,
and yet another,
How your heart must sorrow as you see our need:
our selfishness and sinfulness,
cruelty and degradation,
indifference to your commands,
contempt of your love.
If our hearts sicken over the daily news,
what must you feel?
You who hold the world in your cupped hands,
bending over it lovingly:
challenging to better ways...
Yet spiteful arrows pierce your heart daily;
your malicious children spit up in your face...
Father-God, forgive your world:
go on forgiving your children.
Don't leave us to your own devices,
to our self-made hell,
don't cast us away,
flinging us like unwanted playthings
into the chill of outer space.
We have no merits to plead;
our very wickedness must speak for us.
We need you.
O God, forgive your world:
give us one more chance.
The Hodder Book of Christian Prayers
(Hodder and Stoughton, 1986)