.- The Diocese of Charlotte is holding a Vigil for Liberty with Eucharistic adoration at St. Patrick Cathedral just a mile away from the Democratic National Convention.
“The Catholic Diocese of Charlotte is pleased to offer a gift to our nation, and that is over 80 hours of Eucharistic adoration and prayer for our country,” Bishop Peter J. Jugis said in his homily for the vigil’s Sept. 4 Mass.
“We are keeping our attention and our hearts fixed on Jesus,” he said.
The vigil began the morning of Monday, Sept. 3 and will run through 9 p.m. on Sept. 6.
Bishop Jugis said the faithful are “making great sacrifices” to come at all times of the day to pray for their country.
Prayer, he said, “keeps us attuned to listening to God.”
“All of our work on behalf of the unborn, all of our work on behalf of marriage and the family and for religious liberty, all of our work for the poor and for immigrants and for all social justice concern, are all deeply rooted in Jesus.”
David Hains, the Charlotte diocese’s communications director, told CNA Sept. 5 that as the Democratic National Convention approached the diocese began to receive “a lot of inquiries” from organizations and individuals in the diocese. They wanted to know how the diocese was going to respond to “this platform question or that candidate, or that sort of thing.”
“We thought the best response for political questions is prayer,” he said.
Hains said the vigil’s organizers hope the prayer event will help advance “thoughtful reflection” among everyone, including politicians, reporters and protesters at the Democratic National Convention.
Bishop Jugis also had the diocese hang two large signs on the property of St. Peter’s Catholic Church, which is across the street from where the convention is being held.
One six-foot by 10-foot banner proclaims “Religious Liberty, The Soul of Democracy,” while a six-foot by 27-foot banner reads, “Protect the Unborn, Defend Marriage, Safeguard Religious Liberty.”
Hains said the signs are “being seen far and wide.”
Bishop Jugis’ Sept. 4 homily warned Catholics that their witness would not be easy.
“The mission to bring gospel values to our culture will always be accompanied by the cross,” he said.
“There is no Gospel without suffering,” he continued. “There will be struggle, there will be rejection.”
Prayer is essential “so that we always stay in Christ’s grace and Christ’s love.”
“Without prayer,” he said, “strong headwinds will blow us away.”
However, Bishop Jugis looked to the Jesus’ Resurrection as a sign of hope.
“The lesson of the cross is that divine love always prevails,” he said.