Day of Prayer and Penance for victims of abuse and violence. Friday 24 Feb

Prayer is a central, important part of the healing process for victims/survivors and for the whole community of believers. Moreover, public prayer is an important way of raising consciousness in the Church. Many victims/survivors have often expressed a desire for prayer as an important element in their healing process. The first Friday after Ash Wednesday has been nominated by the NZCBC as the day of Prayer and Penance for victims of abuse and violence.

Below are two examples of prayers with which you can join in this universal initiative. These are adapted from prayers published by the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

Simple Prayer 1. For the victims and survivors of abuse and violence

E Te Atua,

Since your mercy has been revealed

in the tenderness of your Son Jesus Christ,

we pray that your Church may be a secure home

where all are brought closer to your Beloved Son.

May all those who have been abused

physically, emotionally and sexually by your ministers,

experience respect and accompaniment so that

they may feel healed through your compassion.

We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord



Simple Prayer 2. For the victims and survivors of abuse and violence

Heavenly Father,

who loves and cares for all of your children, especially the most vulnerable, we entrust to you the lives of those who have been abused, and whose trust have been destroyed. Help us to hear their cries of pain and to take responsibility for so many broken lives.

We pray that within communities and families those who have been harmed may find understanding and support so that with the help of your grace their wounds may be healed, and they may know peace.

Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit forever and ever.


The following prayer has been adapted from a resource prepared by the Diocese of Northampton.

Prayer for Healing and Reconciliation

Praise to you loving God
the source of all consolation and hope.
Be the refuge and guardian of all
who suffer from abuse and violence.
Comfort and send healing
for the body, soul and spirit of those harmed.
Help us all and make us one with you
in your love for justice
as we deepen our respect for the dignity of every human life.
Giver of peace, make us one in celebrating
your praise, both now and forever.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Readings for the Mass of the Day

Is 58:1-9   Is this not the sort of fast that pleases me: To open unjust fetters, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free and to break every yoke?


Ps 50:3-6,18-19   A broken humbled heart, O God, you will not scorn.

Glory and praise to you O Jesus Christ!

Seek good and not evil so that you may live, and the Lord will be with you.

Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ! 


Mt 9:14-15   When the bridegroom is taken from them, then they will fast.


Suggestions for Prayer of Intercession

Let us pray:

For all those who are victims of abuse and violence, that they may be protected by society and have their sufferings considered and heeded by all.

Response:  E Te Ariki, whakarongo mai ra ki a matou

For all survivors of abuse; may they experience the compassionate love of God and find healing and hope in the risen Lord.

Response:  E Te Ariki, whakarongo mai ra ki a matou


"Prayer of St. Francis – Make me a Channel of your Peace." Sing with or listen HERE

Other links

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales HERE