During the first Mass of the school year, two students at St. Bernard Elementary School in suburban Pittsburgh stand in front of the congregation and lead their classmates in prayer.
They pray for the leaders of the world, for the sick and suffering, and for the victims of abuse in the Catholic Church.
It is the only time clergy abuse is mentioned during the service. It might be the only time it’s mentioned in the school. Principal Anthony Merante says he wants to leave that conversation up to parents.
“For some kids — and this is what I’m concerned about — parents don’t want them to be aware of this and that’s the parents’ right. So you’re going to bring something up and stir something up that isn’t there,” he says.