From our pastor Father Neil Herlihy
The Mass and the Holy Hour invite us in a special way to recommit ourselves to the dignity and value of all human life. Our Holy Father Pope Francis has spoken clearly about the evil of abortion. As reported by the publication, “Life News”, he stated, “Every unborn child, though unjustly condemned to be aborted, has the face of the Lord, who even before his birth, and then as soon as he was born, experienced the rejection of the world.” Pope Francis also criticized the “throwaway culture” which abortion promotes, saying, “Our response to this mentality is a ‘yes’ to life, decisive and without hesitation. The first right of the human person is his life. He has other goods and some are precious, but this one is fundamental – the condition for all others.”
Our Holy Father invites us and challenges us to reaffirm our commitment to welcome the joy of new life as a gift from God, and to support this life from conception until natural death. He also invites us to bear witness not only to the value and sacredness of the unborn, but also to the elderly, and the physically and mentally ill. He also asked us to pray for the healing of those suffering from the painful trauma of abortion, also for the healing of those who have hardened their hearts against the precious gift of life as we do our part to change hearts and minds.
As we know, hearts and minds are changing. Many physicians, clergy, and laity are now providing greater compassion to women in unplanned pregnancies. We know that Jesus heals and forgives. As a Church community, we can also. There is also an increased appreciation for, and understanding of, those with physical conditions such as autism and “Downs Syndrome.” We are becoming more aware of the needs of our elderly who may have grown weak and frail but still are more of a blessing than a burden. We are more clearly responding to the call of Pope Francis to treat each life as precious beyond measure.
As we reflect on the dignity of each human person, I hope you will prayerfully consider joining Archbishop Gregory for the Mass on Monday morning, or joining your fellow parishioners for our Holy Hour Monday evening as we strive to bear witness to the sacredness of all life.