September 26, 2008

Cathedral Mass, Life Chains to highlight Respect Life Sunday events

By Mary Ann Wyand

“Hope and Trust in Life!” is the theme for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ national observance of Respect Life Sunday on Oct. 5 in dioceses throughout the country.

Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein is scheduled to be the celebrant for the archdiocesan Respect Life Sunday Mass at 1 p.m. on Oct. 5 at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral, 1347 N. Meridian St., in Indianapolis.

During the pro-life Mass, two archdiocesan Catholics—an adult and teenager—will be honored for their distinguished service to the cause of life.

The Archbishop Edward T. O’Meara Respect Life Award and Our Lady of Guadalupe Pro-Life Youth Award recipients will be announced in the Oct. 3 issue of The Criterion.

The Central Indiana Life Chain, a one-hour prayer vigil dedicated to ending abortion, will follow the liturgy from 2:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. along North Meridian Street between Ohio and 40th streets.

Life Chains also are scheduled in the archdiocese on Respect Life Sunday in Bloomington, Columbus, Connersville, Greencastle, Greenfield and Terre Haute.

This year’s Respect Life Sunday theme was inspired by Pope Benedict XVI’s homily on Dec. 31, 2007, when he described a lack of hope and trust in life as “the ‘obscure’ evil of modern Western society.”

The theme also complements the Holy Father’s key messages during his historic visit to the United States last April.

The bishops’ Respect Life Program materials prepared for dioceses and parishes to use as educational resources during this year’s observance emphasize Pope Benedict’s call to U.S. Catholics “to proclaim the gift of life, to serve life and to promote a culture of life.”

Quoting the pope, the bishops said the message of hope that Catholics are called to proclaim and embody is at the heart of the new evangelization.

Servants of the Gospel of Life Sister Diane Carollo, director of the archdiocesan Office for Pro-Life Ministry, said two Scripture readings for the Respect Life Sunday Mass (Is 5:1-7 and Mt 21:33-43) present images of a vineyard.

The Church’s annual observance of Respect Life Sunday is “a reminder to all of us not to neglect our spiritual and even civic duties or yield to the evil influences of individuals committed to promoting the culture of death,” Sister Diane said. “As faithful citizens of our great nation, we must labor tirelessly in the vineyard in order to bring an end to the destruction of innocent human life—from the moment of conception to natural death. To do less will result in punishment, as indicated in the Gospel parable.”

(For more information about Life Chains scheduled on Oct. 5 throughout Indiana, log on to

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