‘Black mass’ no match for prayer campaign

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Before a scheduled ‘black mass’ Bethany Marsh and Sophia Shogren led nine days of prayer to St Michael the Archangel who in Scripture is a leading figure in the fight against evil. PHOTO: Supplied

Powerhouses of prayer backed youth prayer initiative

A prayer campaign launched by two young Australian Catholics against a public ‘black mass’ in Queensland went international, with dozens of extra Masses, Eucharistic adoration, prayer vigils and a novena to St Michael the Archangel gaining massive support.

Friends Bethany Marsh and Sophia Shogren, both 22, said they were “blown away” by the response to their spiritual campaign launched in response to the event organised by a self-proclaimed Satanist group as a political comment on proposed religious freedom legislation.

“Evil is real and it is not something that should be played with or underestimated”      – Archbishop Fisher OP

When the friends discovered the plans for the mock Mass in Noosa, north of Brisbane, on 30 October at a council-owned building they launched the prayer campaign and a Facebook group which gained more than 1000 followers.

The word quickly spread through social media to prayer groups, parishes, and bishop’s offices across the country and overseas. Despite a global petition asking the council to cancel the event gaining almost 100,000 signatures, it went ahead with about 20 people in attendance.

However, many more prayed in reparation for the mock Mass including a number of “ultimate powerhouses of prayer” – religious communities across Australia.

Serbian Orthodox Icon of the Archangel Michael.

Ms Marsh told The Catholic Weekly that three weeks prior to the event, the organisers confirmed that they did not plan to use a consecrated host.

“It’s pretty clear a lot of what they’re saying is dripping with irony, but we mustn’t let that distract us from the gravity of their actions, regardless of the intention behind them,” said the women.

They encouraged all to pray for those involved in the event, for the Church during this time of spiritual attack, to make reparation for the sacrilege, through the intercession of Our Lady, Saint Michael and Blessed Bartolo Longo, who had been a former satanic priest.

Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP was among those who prayed the novena in the lead up to the event. “Evil is real and it is not something that should be played with or underestimated,” he said.