In a normal year this coming week would see the National Right to Life March in Washington, D.C., but because of the pandemic this annual witness to sanctity of human life will be very different. However, whether there is a large in-person march or a virtual gathering, the message will remain the same: Human life is a gift to be honored and protected from the moment life begins in our mothers’ wombs until the Lord calls us to eternal life.

This message has been a constant call and teaching of the Catholic Church since its beginning.  I know this is not news to any of our parishioners, but it is a message we must never allow to become forgotten; it is just too important. The Church tries to proclaim this Gospel of Life in such a way that it attracts people to the truth it contains.

Let Pope Francis help us consider the value of life:

+ “All life has inestimable value even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect.”– Message to Catholics taking part in annual Day for Life in Britain and Ireland, July 28, 2013

+ “Every child who, rather than being born, is condemned unjustly to being aborted, bears the face of Jesus Christ, bears the face of the Lord, who even before he was born, and then just after birth, experienced the world’s rejection. And every elderly person… even if he is ill or at the end of his days, bears the face of Christ. They cannot be discarded, as the ‘culture of waste’ suggests!”– Speech to Catholic healthcare professionals, Sept. 20, 2013

+ “All too often, as we know from experience, people do not choose life, they do not accept the ‘Gospel of Life’ but let themselves be led by ideologies and ways of thinking that block life, that do not respect life, because they are dictated by selfishness, self-interest, profit, power and pleasure, and not by love, by concern for the good of others. As a result, the living God is replaced by fleeting human idols which offer the intoxication of a flash of freedom, but in the end bring new forms of slavery and death.” – from homily at Mass for ‘Evangelium Vitae Day,’ June 16, 2013

Let us pray for this invaluable gift of life.

Msgr. John McDermott

Vicar General

CNS/Gregory A. Shemitz