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Mass for peace in Iraq and the Middle East held at St. Mark Church

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Bishop Jugis: 'Bringing the Gospel to the world is hard'

090412-bishop-mass-libertyCHARLOTTE — In a much-anticipated homily during a "Vigil for Liberty" Mass at St. Patrick Cathedral on Sept. 4, Charlotte Bishop Peter J. Jugis emphasized the importance of prayer to remaining strong when the faithful spread the message of the Gospel to the world. The Mass was during the first day of the Democratic National Convention being held in uptown Charlotte this week.

Bishop Jugis also recognized that the faithful of the diocese were making a great sacrifice during the "Vigil for Liberty" and the 80 hours of perpetual Adoration.

"This week the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte is pleased to offer a gift to our nation – over 80 hours of Eucharistic Adoration and prayer for our country. During these 80 hours we are keeping our prayers and hearts fixed on Jesus. ...

"You the faithful of the diocese are making great sacrifices. You're doing that because you love your country. And because we love our country, we offer to the Lord our sacrifices of our time and our prayer during these 80 hours. It's not just a gift, but it is also a duty, a responsibility to pray.

"Prayer is important because it keeps us in communication with God and it keeps us attuned with His will and not doing our own."

Bishop Jugis illustrated how all of our work – for the unborn, for religious liberty, for traditional marriage, the poor, the immigrants – all springs from the love of Christ. The mission of the faithful is deeply rooted in Jesus.

Bishop Jugis also explained that the work of proclaiming the Gospel comes with the Cross, but that there is great power in the Cross as it was there that Jesus took on all the sorrows and sins of humanity.

"There is great power in the Cross because on the Cross Jesus showed us the power of His love. Divine Love absorbed all of that unto Himself. Divine Love always prevails. This is the power of Christ's love and this is the power of the Holy Eucharist – the love of Christ, which prevails over all sin and all sorrow."

He asked, "Is there anything now that the world can throw against Jesus that it hasn't already tried?"

"No. Christ's grace and Christ's love cannot be eclipsed, cannot be defeated. His love is everlasting, His love is eternal. No force in the universe is more powerful than Christ's love.

"It is this love that impels us in our witness to the Gospel," he said.

David Hains, director of communications for the Diocese of Charlotte, was present at the Mass and reflected on Bishop Jugis' homily, especially about the "Vigil for Liberty" being a gift to our nation.

"I was really impressed by Bishop Jugis' describing of perpetual Adoration as a gift to the country," Hains said. "I never heard perpetual Adoration described that way, and in light of what is going on in Charlotte this week, it was very appropriate."

The "Vigil for Liberty" period of Adoration was to continue through 9 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 6.

A solemn Holy Hour will mark the culmination of the 80-hour "Vigil For Liberty," from 10 to 11 p.m., concluding with a benediction. All are welcome to attend at any time.

— SueAnn Howell, staff writer

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