Some Catholics in western Massachusetts heeded the call of their bishop Monday and headed to church to pray for victims of clergy abuse and their families.
Bishop Mitchell Rozanski asked that all churches in the Springfield Diocese be open for a day of prayer for healing and reconciliation.
Paul Czynodel went to Christ the King Church in Ludlow.
Czynodel said he prayed not just for the victims of clergy abuse, but also for "the perpetrators of such things that they will come to repentance, and come to the Lord, and seek forgiveness what they did, and to cleanse the filth out of the Church, and make sure we follow Jesus, and don't do such things in the future."
At Saint Anne Church in Chicopee, Lisa Petraglia said she prayed for the victims and for the church itself.
"It's a human institution set up a long time ago," she said. "And it has the potential for such great good, but it does need to look at itself here, and address the harm, and hear the claims and re-knit itself — and it's possible."
Petraglia said she also prayed for clergy who may have been falsely accused.
As part of an effort to address the abuse crisis, Bishop Mitchell Rozanski has been holding listening sessions across the diocese. The remaining two will be held later this month in Westfield and Northampton.
This comes as the Hampden County DA has raised questions about whether the diocese has shared all abuse claims with prosecutors.