September 25, 2013

"...until natural death."

New Hampshire has the death penalty on the books but no one has been executed in the state since 1939.  Presently only one person is on death row and that is Michael Addison who killed Manchester Police Officer Michael Briggs in 2006.  The Diocese of Manchester is part of the Faith Initiative of the New Hampshire Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and I was invited to attend their monthly meeting today at the diocesan office.

This year a bill will be introduced in the legislature to repeal the death penalty and the faith initiative committee is working to unite the various churches and people of faith to lobby for the bill's passage. The governor has indicated that she would support a repeal of the death penalty so the time is ripe.  I am going to try and plan something with the other Catholic high schools in the diocese, namely a day in  which all of our schools pray for the repeal of the death penalty and have our students, if they wish, call their legislators and encourage them to support the bill.  Churches across the state are devoting the Solemnity of Christ the King this year to this effort as the gospel that day focuses on the crucifixion of Christ and the second reading on the power of Christ.  

I am excited about these efforts, particularly the power of prayer.  The crisis in Syria seems to have been averted (for now) and perhaps the power of prayer from Pope Francis and others helped make that possible.  God indeed hears our cries...

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