This past Wednesday night, six busses filled with teens from throughout the Diocese along with adult chaperones and chaplains (Fr. Mark is chaplain for one of the busses) left for Washington, D.C. to participate in the 46th annual Right For Life March upon the Capitol, Supreme Court, and National Mall. They will return this Sunday evening. On Tuesday, January 22nd, the actual anniversary of the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, our 8:00AM Mass will be offered for the legal protection of unborn children. For the Church, there is no distinction between defending human life and promoting the dignity of the human person. Pope Benedict XVI writes in Caritas in Veritate (http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_ben-xvi_enc_20090629_caritas-in-veritate.html) that “The Church forcefully maintains this link between life ethics and social ethics, fully aware that ‘a society lacks solid foundations when, on the one hand, it asserts values such as the dignity of the person, justice and peace, but then, on the other hand, radically acts to the contrary by allowing or tolerating a variety of ways in which human life is devalued and violated, especially where it is weak or marginalized.'” (no. 15). As a gift from God, every human life is sacred from conception to natural death. The life and dignity of every person must be respected and protected at every stage and in every condition. The right to life is the first and most fundamental principle of human rights that leads Catholics to actively work for a world of greater respect for human life and greater commitment to justice and peace.
Locally, on another “front” of promoting the protection of the life of the unborn, most of you are aware of Waterleaf on New York Street in Aurora (and within our parish boundaries). Since 2009, Waterleaf has served more than 3,000 patients from 182 cities in 10 states. Their proximity to the third largest abortion provider in the country has enabled them to reach the most abortion-determined and abortion-vulnerable men and women with lifeaffirming messages and services. Hundreds of baby’s lives have been saved through their services. And there is more good news! Through the generosity of a property owner, benefactors and many donors, Waterleaf has begun construction on a new larger facility – RIGHT NEXT DOOR to that third largest abortion provider – Planned Parenthood. Our Lady of Mercy supports Waterleaf with donations and our prayers. I am pleased to announce that Our Lady of Mercy parish will make a $20,000 donation to the construction of the new Waterleaf facility. This donation, approved by our Finance Council, comes from our budget surplus of last fiscal year. The new facility will even have a 350 square foot chapel for the celebration of Mass, Eucharistic Adoration as well as non-denominational prayer services.
There are several ways to be involved in our Pro-Life Ministries. The 1st Friday of every month there are “prayer warriors” at the Planned Parenthood facilities. Middle school students are welcome to join our Gen Z for Life group. Detailed information about our Pro-Life ministries can be found on the parish website.
Have a Blessed Week and Choose Life!