PORTLAND — The head of Maine’s Roman Catholic diocese has set aside a day of penance and prayer next week to help heal the wounds of past incidents of clergy sexual abuse.

Bishop Richard Malone says a “day of atonement” will be held on Tuesday, April 5 – a week later than originally planned because of the death of a priest and funeral arrangements.

During next week’s event, Malone will celebrate Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland with a focus on penance and prayer.

The diocese says priests and parishioners are invited to participate, and that pastors and administrators throughout the diocese are being urged to open their churches for at least a few hours during the day for people to join in prayer and acts of penance.