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Email letter from Mother Olga of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph; mother servant of the Daughters of Mary of Nazareth, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts USA; www.dmnazareth.org.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Peace and blessing to you. I pray this letter finds you all well. First, I wanted to take this time to express my deep gratitude to you, your families, your parishes and your communities for your care and prayerful support for the people of Iraq, who have suffered such a catastrophic tragedy in recent weeks.

Second, inspired by today's request from Pope Francis: "I ask all Catholic parishes and communities to offer a special prayer this weekend for Iraqi Christians", I thought to ask for your assistance through prayers and, if it's possible, through sharing this message with others.

Saint John Paul II said on December 30, 1987, the following: The 'evil mechanisms' and 'structures of sin' can be overcome only through the exercise of the human and Christian solidarity to which the Church calls us and which she tirelessly promotes. Only in this way can such positive energies be fully released for the benefit of development and peace. It is my prayer and hope that our spiritual communion in praying for those who are suffering will become a seed of solidarity that, hopefully, one day, will grow into a more peaceful world for generations to come.

As a servant of God and His people, I have served the Iraqi people from a very young age all through four wars. In those years, inspired by the teaching of Blessed Charles de Foucauld on universal brotherhood, I made an effort to learn four other local languages besides my Aramaic native language in order to be of service to all: Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen, Chaldeans, and Armenians. Given the large percentage of Muslim communities in Iraq, I also chose to study Islam according to the tradition of both Shias and Sunnis, for two years so as to be of service to them. Through those years of serving in various villages and among many different ethnic groups and tribes, I became a strong believer of the power of solidarity that creates a bridge for healing and reconciliation.

The devastating reality of the last month and a half in Iraq stirred up in my heart the old memories from my homeland. In the last few weeks, despite the darkness of hatred, revenge, persecution, humiliation and death, I could not let go of the hope that the light of healing, reconciliation, human respect and honor of each others' religion and tradition, that I saw for decades of growing up in a land that is made up of all these tribes, ethnic groups, and religious communities, would not be extinguished.

It was my confidence in this hope that led me to reach out to most of you, other religious and humanitarian organizations, and most of all, to have a daily contact with the Catholic leaders in Iraq.
These are some of the ways that we, together, can help build solidarity for peace:
  1. Prayer. Recently, on August 8th, the USCCB invited all the Catholic Dioceses in the United States to pray in a special way for peace in Iraq. I was moved to tears of gratitude on behalf of all my beloved people in Iraq.
  3. Raising awareness of people around us about the truth of this tragedy. Invite people to stay connected and informed. You are welcome to share the videos and the article below to help people be aware of the suffering that is taking place in Iraq.
    A 14-minute interview on EWTN:

    A 9-minute video that I put together as a tribute for the Iraqi people:

    An interview article by Our Sunday Visitor Catholic newspaper:
  5. Donations. I'm sure there are many good organizations that are trying to help. One of them is Catholic Relief Services, who has already established a special fund for Iraq:
Though I consider myself like a small voice crying in the wilderness of so much pain, I am confident that "the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace."

This light of my hope has never diminished because of each one of you, your powerful prayers and spiritual support to the people of Iraq, and your leadership in raising awareness about the need to pray for peace.

With the assurance of my daily prayers for you and your loved ones I conclude this message with gratitude to all of you and all the other American Bishops with the words of a traditional hymn (A Song of Peace):

May truth and freedom come to every nation;
may peace abound where strife has raged so long;
that each may seek to love and build together,
a world united, righting every wrong;
a world united in its love for freedom,
proclaiming peace together in one song.

Gratefully yours in the Sacred Hearts of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,

Mother Olga of the Sacred Heart,
mother servant of the Daughters of Mary of Nazareth

From Mass in Solidarity with Christians expelled from Mosul and Nineveh Province;
August 16, 2014 at the Mary Immaculate of Lourdes Church, Newton, Massachusetts
Join us in praying the 54 Day Rosary Novena in Honor of the Holy Trinity for World Peace
Pray the Litany of Our Holy Virgin Mary - the Litany of Loreto
Psalm 68:2-9a, 10-11, 20-22
(English translation from the Spanish Vatican Bible)
His enemies are dispersed
and his adversaries flee before Him.
You dissipate them like smoke dissipates,
as wax melts before fire:
that is how the impious disappear before God.
But the just are overjoyed,
they yell with delight before God
and are filled with happiness.
Sing to God then a hymn in His Name!
Open up a path for the one who gallops across the clouds!
His Name is "The Lord."
Proclaim in happiness his presence!
God in his holy dwelling place is Father of the orphans
and defender of the widows.
He installs in a home the solitary ones
and frees with happiness the captives,
while the rebellious ones inhabit a desolate place.
Oh God, when you went in front of your people,
as they advanced in the desert,
the earth shook and the sky let its rain fall,
in front of the Lord.
You spilled a generous rainfall,
Lord: your inheritance was exhausted
and you replenished and comforted.
There your family became established
and you Lord,
will strengthen her
by Your goodness towards the poor.

Blessed be the Lord,
the God of our salvation!
He carries us and is with us day after day;
He is the God that saves us
and has us escape our death.
Yes, God will crush the head of his enemies,
the cranium of those who persist
in their wrongdoings.
Pray to Our Lady Help of Christians - Auxilium Christianorum
"Our dear Mother is full of tender solicitude for her children. When she beholds them in the power of the cruel enemy of her Son, she lifts up her pure and spotless hands before the throne of God, and continually pleads with Him for them, that the ransom of the precious blood may be applied to them, that their chains may be broken, and that they themselves may be restored to liberty."
Our Blessed Lady ‘De Mercede,’ for the Redemption of Captives by Fr. Francis Cuthbert Doyle, 1896
Pray for our Brothers and Sisters in Iraq - Pray for World Peace
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