From our pastor, Father Neil Herlihy:
In his Pastoral Letter, “Ecclesia In America” (The Church in America), Our Holy Father Pope John Paul II wrote, “Nowadays in America as elsewhere in the world, a model of society appears to be emerging in which the powerful predominate. This model of society…is…in opposition to the Gospel message. Faced with this distressing reality, the Church community intends to commit itself all the more to the defense of the culture of life.”
Especially during this Respect Life month of October, this Pastoral Letter reminds us in a special way that we are called to proclaim a culture of Life in word and in example. This includes proclaiming the dignity of those who are the most vulnerable of God’s people. It includes the grandmother with Alzheimer’s disease. It includes the grandfather with Parkinson’s disease. It includes the young boy with Downs Syndrome. It includes the young girl with Autism. It includes the young unmarried woman who is in a crisis pregnancy situation and who may be hurt, scared, and near despair. It also includes the child she carries in her womb.
As we know, a young woman in a crisis pregnancy situation can be very vulnerable. She may need encouragement to support the precious gift of life given to her unborn child. Then, in many instances, adoption may be the best and most loving option for the child and the mother. There are many parents who may be interested in adopting a child. There are some parents in our Parish who have already adopted children.
As a way to assist parents in their understanding of the adoption process and in the need for adoption, we have recently sponsored an Adoption Conference at Saint Brigid; and we had speakers such as Fr. Michael Silloway, Michelle Benzinger, and Nicole Hartman who are knowledgeable on the subject.
Adoption is one way we can respond to the call to embrace a culture of Life. This culture of Life is reflected in the following Christian Adoption Prayer:
“Father…we give you thanks for the child who has come to bless this family and for the parents who have taken this child to be their own.
By the power of your Holy Spirit, fill these parents with trust, understanding, and affection, and through this child in their midst, enable them to better know the mystery that we are all your Children by adoption through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
May God continue to bless you as you strive to change hearts and minds, and promote a culture of life.