FALL RIVER — Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., will be principal celebrant and homilist of a special Mass of Atonement on Sunday, April 11, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fall River. The Mass is planned as part of the Fall River diocesan observance of Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

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 Bishop to celebrate Mass of Atonement the U.S. bishops’ “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.”

“The scourge of clergy sexual abuse has deeply wounded so many people in our Church,” said Carolyn Shipp, who serves as the Victim Assistance Coordinator for the diocese.

“It has touched every diocese worldwide and continues to affect us all — laity and clergy — in significant ways. As we celebrate the joy of Christ’s Resurrection, we also acknowledge April as Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month. While no single statement or event can make up for the painful abuse of our most vulnerable brothers and sisters, as believers we know that in Christ’s suffering, death, and Resurrection, we find hope beyond measure as we move towards a brighter future. With a contrite heart and commitment to the healing process, Bishop da Cunha will celebrate this Mass of Atonement for our diocese.”

The Mass will include special intentions for the victims of sexual abuse and will conclude with a reflection offered by Shipp.

All are invited to take part in the Mass of Atonement. Because of pandemic capacity restrictions, those who are interested in attending the Mass in person must register here (click “Sign Up to Attend Mass”).

The Mass of Atonement will also be live-streamed for viewing here.