Annual Diocesan Respect Life Mass with Bishop Christopher Coyne

Saturday, Jan. 26, 9:30 a.m. St. Augustine, Montpelier

Annual Montpelier Rally for Life 10:45 a.m.

City Hall to State House

You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise you, because I am wonderfully made; wonderful are your works! My very self you know. — Ps 139:13-14

Why do we do this, especially on such a cold day? First, our Catholic faith teaches us that all life is precious from conception to natural death. Second, abortion, which ends the life of a child in the womb, was made legal in this country on Jan. 22, 1973.

I was born just a few years before Roe vs. Wade, the US Supreme Court Decision that made abortion legal throughout all nine months of pregnancy. I was born to teenage parents who were only 16 years old when I was conceived. My birth mother was very traumatized, especially since my conception was not consensual. At the age of two months, I was adopted by my wonderful parents through New Hampshire Catholic Charities. My brother, who also is adopted, and I are very grateful to God that we were given the gift of life. I thank God that abortion was not a legal option when my brother and I were conceived.

Here in Vermont, our state has many policies that do not support the gift of life. As Burlington Bishop Christopher Coyne stated in announcing this year’s diocesan theme, “The Call to Discipleship,” “To be a disciple is to embrace the fullness of faith in the Church and its teachings.”

As Catholics, who firmly believe in the sanctity of all human life, we are called to share this faith with others. And what a beautiful way to share our faith by praying together at a Mass for life. And for those who are able, what a beautiful witness it is to prayerfully walk from the church to the Statehouse to show our love for life.

In conclusion, I invite you, as a fellow Catholic and disciple of Jesus, to the diocesan Respect Life Mass that will be celebrated by Bishop Coyne, followed by refreshments in the church hall. You are also invited to the Statehouse afterward for a short program, which also includes a free lunch.

—Jackie Becker is a parishioner and choir member at St. Luke Church in Fairfax.

—Originally published in the Jan. 19-25, 2019, issue of The Inland See.