CHARLOTTE — Father Christopher Roux, rector and pastor of St. Patrick Cathedral kicked off the "Vigil for Liberty," a three-day period of continuous Eucharistic Adoration at St. Patrick Cathedral in Charlotte, coinciding with the Democratic National Convention Sept. 3-6.
During his homily at the 9 a.m. Mass on Monday, the feast of St. Gregory the Great, Father Roux addressed his reasons for organizing the vigil and noted that Catholic leaders in good conscience "cannot get along with evil."
He explained that St. Gregory was a shepherd of the people who was concerned with the souls of the faithful and that every pastor is responsible for each soul within his territory. The more responsibility a pastor has, such as a bishop or the pope, the more his concerns grow.
"In these days of political correctness -- and tolerance and accusation and pointing fingers and everything else -- I can see how someone can get distracted in order to 'get along' with those they are supposed to be helping. Sometimes 'getting along' is how we justify trying to save your souls," Father Roux told worshippers.
"The reality is that some people act mean and act in mean ways. ... We must act to protect the sheep that are already in the fold and to hopefully bring into the fold those sheep who are sort of obstinate," he added.
"During this time of prayer over the next few days, I beg everyone who spends time in prayer here to assist your pastors and your bishop to find the correct way, the correct way in order to protect the sheep in the fold and winning over sheep in the correct way, to join the fold.
"We must pray in love. We must pray in charity. We must pray for the desire of knowing that there is a Truth and that Truth, as Christ told us, will set us free. We cannot get along with evil.
"But through Jesus Christ, through His power, through His name, through His Precious Blood, we can overcome."
Among the petitions being offered during the "Vigil for Liberty" are the right to live, unthreatened by government mandate, from natural conception to natural death, and for the freedom of conscience and the unhindered worship of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Participants will also ask Our Lord for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and religious life in the diocese and across the world.
Volunteers are welcome to sign up for an hour, or more if they wish, but children younger than 18 are not permitted in the church without a chaperoning adult between the hours of 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.
St. Patrick Cathedral is located at 1621 Dilworth Road East. For more information, go to www.stpatricks.org or call the church office at 704-334-2283.
— SueAnn Howell, staff writer
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