Mass for Peace and End of Persecution of Christians in Iraq – August 2014

August 18, 2014 by  
Filed under Director's Blog, Iraq

On Saturday, August 16th, 2014, the Iraqi Community of Boston celebrated a special Mass for the peace and the end of the persecution of Christians in Iraq. Faithful from different ethnic backgrounds joined this community in solidarity with the great suffering they are going through. In the last few weeks, thousands of Christians have been forced to leave their homes in multiple cities in Iraq and flee for their lives. Many have been killed, while others are dying in the desert due to lack of food and water and the intense heat during this time of the year.


Faithful from different ethnic backgrounds during Mass in solidarity with the Iraqi Community of Boston.

This special Mass was celebrated in the Latin rite by Fr. Michael Harrington, Director of the Office of Outreach and Cultural Diversity and the homily was preached by both Fr. Harrington and Fr. Bassim Shoni, chaplain to the Iraqi Community.


Fr. Michael Harrington during the Mass.

Over 250 people attended the Mass, which was followed by a procession. Gathered outside the Mary Immaculate of Lourdes in Newton, MA, all attendees prayed a Hail Mary in their own language (English, Arabic, Portuguese, Spanish, Korean, Tagalog, Swahili, Congolese, etc.).  The Iraqi chorus also sang a beautiful song in the language of Jesus.


All gathered outside the church for special prayers.


Fr. Michael Harrington, Fr. Bassim Shoni and Fr. Brian Kiley during prayers outside the church.

In addition to the many Catholics who attended the Mass, a group of  Shia Muslim girls also participated in this special Mass, as many of their people are also being persecuted by ISIS extremists in Iraq. It was a truly beautiful moment, praying together for the persecution of not only Christians, but all minorities in Iraq and other countries.


Fr. Bassim Shoni of the Iraqi Community with Shiite Muslim girls who attended this special Mass.


Fr. Mike Harrington and members of the Iraqi Community with the Shiite Muslim girls attending the event.

Following the procession outside the church, all were welcomed to join the Iraqi Community for a light reception.


A group of girls from the Iraqi Community.


Fr. Michael Harrington with members of the Iraqi Community.


A group of Iraqis wearing their shirts with the letter “N” in Arabic, which stands for “Nasrani” or Nazarene.

For more pictures of this event, Click Here.

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