Dear Members of the Harvard Catholic Community,
As we celebrate these beautiful days of the Eastertide and give thanks for the gift of redemption that our Lord Jesus Christ won for us by conquering sin and death once, for all, it pains me to write to you today in order to comment on some distressing news. As you are aware by now, a student group from the Harvard Extension School, The Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club, plans to present on Monday, May 12 on campus a “black mass”, an act of satanic worship that mocks the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass – the center of our faith and worship.
This is truly an affront to our Catholic faith and Catholics must unite in prayer in order to combat this act of evil and hatred. As the University attempts to veil this ‘presentation’ under the guise of ‘academic freedom and expression’, people of good will recognize it for what it truly is: an act of hatred and ridicule toward the Catholic Church and her faithful.
Cardinal Seán O’Malley has expressed his great distress over this and we are assured of his prayers for our Catholic community at this time. The Archdiocese of Boston released the following statement:
“The Catholic community in the Archdiocese of Boston expresses its deep sadness and strong opposition to the plan to stage a “black mass” on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge.
For the good of the Catholic faithful and all people, the Church provides clear teaching concerning Satanic worship. This activity separates people from God and the human community, it is contrary to charity and goodness, and it places participants dangerously close to destructive works of evil.
In a recent statement, Pope Francis warned of the danger of being naïve about or underestimating the power of Satan, whose evil is too often tragically present in our midst. We call upon all believers and people of good will to join us in prayer for those who are involved in this event, that they may come to appreciate the gravity of their actions, and in asking Harvard to disassociate itself from this activity.”
As Senior Catholic Chaplain, it is my duty to offer my pastoral support to all in our community. And so, I call on the entire Harvard Catholic community to respond to this egregious action as our Lord Jesus would: with prayer and calm. We pray for all associated with this act that they may turn away from evil and be converted to the Truth of Christ in their lives. We pray as well for spiritual strength from our Heavenly Father that will guide us through this time of testing for us all.
I therefore invite all Catholics and people of good will in the community to gather for a Eucharistic Holy Hour and Benediction this coming Monday evening, May 12th, from 8.00 to 9.00 PM in St. Paul’s Church at the corner of Bow and Arrow Streets in Harvard Square. As a community, we will be strengthened by uniting in prayer before of Eucharistic Lord asking for His grace to be his faithful followers in a world that is shrouded in darkness.
On behalf of Fathers Salzmann, Westcott and Armano, I pray that you will join us on Monday night for this important time of prayer at St. Paul’s.
With the promise of my prayers for you and for our community through the intercession of our Blessed Lady, I remain
Yours in the Risen Lord,
Father Michael E. Drea
Pastor and Senior Chaplain