FALL RIVER — Every April, child- and youth-serving organizations — including many Catholic dioceses, parishes, and schools — participate in National Child Abuse Prevention Month to highlight the importance of protecting minors from abuse. These efforts are part of the ongoing work of dioceses across the country to carry out the U.S. bishops’ “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.”
This year, the Fall River Diocese will offer a special Mass of Atonement, Prayer and Penance on Sunday, April 7, at 10 a.m. at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fall River to commemorate this special month-long observance.
Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., will be the principal celebrant and homilist at the Mass of Atonement, Prayer and Penance that will offer special intentions for the victims of sexual abuse.
“The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has designated April as Child Abuse Prevention month, and one of the highlights is a Mass of Atonement,” explained Deacon Joseph E. Regali, who is director of the Office of Safe Environment of the Fall River Diocese. “Other dioceses may call it another name, but typically the general name is a Mass of Atonement and it is dedicated to the survivors of child sex abuse and clergy sex abuse. I believe this is the first time in our diocese that we will be holding such a Mass.”
All are invited to attend the Mass.