In a video message to Catholics this week, Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted invites Catholics to pray a 54-day Rosary Novena for the nation. Following is the text from the Diocese of Phoenix website:

The difficult times we now face in the United States are first and foremost “a crisis of saints.”* In such times, prayer is the primary means by which we and the saints ask God that thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Therefore, I invite all Catholics in the Diocese of Phoenix and throughout the nation to pray together a “Totus Tuus” 54-Day Rosary Novena, beginning on August 30, the memorial of St. Jeanne Jugan, foundress of the Little Sisters of the Poor, and ending on October 22, the feast of St. John Paul II.**

How to pray the Novena: As a family, or as an individual, simply pray these intentions before praying the daily Rosary. The Rosary is prayed every day of the Novena.

The intentions I ask every family and individual Catholic to pray for are the following:

  1. For the conversion and spiritual protection of our nation, currently experiencing a calamity of sin, division, and vitriol.
  2. For authentic leadership, secular and in the Church, rooted in true virtue.
  3. For the political parties of our nation to be led by the common good, and to agree on the fundamentals of any nation with a future: protection of human life at all stages, recognition of the dignity of every human person precisely because he or she is made in the image of God, upholding of marriage as the fundamental building block of society, and protection of free speech, freedom of religion, and all other attendant freedoms which help build a virtuous and generous citizenry.
  4. For the rejection of all forms of collectivism (CCC 1885), whether Marxist or born of another false ideology, and the cultivation of true patriotism, based on love for what is best in our country, solidarity with those in need and subsidiarity for those smaller stations of governance such as the family.
  5. For the strengthening of all families, in particular that Catholic families live more deeply their call to be the “domestic church”.
  6. For the virtues of mercy and forgiveness to be demonstrated by our leaders and especially those who pray the Our Father.
  7. For an end to unjust discrimination and the healing of racial divisions and all other divisiveness unworthy of a sovereign nation.
  8. For the vulnerable among us, especially pre-born children, elderly, immigrants, unemployed and the poor.
  9. For the restoration of one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

* “In this age of ours, an age of generalized decay, of compromise and discouragement, and also of license and anarchy, I think it is more important than ever to hold on to that simple yet profound conviction which I had when I began my priestly work and have held ever since, and which has given me a burning desire to tell all mankind that these world crises are crises of saints.”

**  A nine-day version of the Novena, perhaps for younger families or for teachers to use in Catholic schools if thought helpful, beginning on October 14 and ending on October 22, would also be a valuable way to participate.