September 25, 2009

Mass, Life Chains to highlight Respect Life Sunday events

By Mary Ann Wyand

“Every Child Brings Us God’s Smile,” a quotation from Pope Benedict XVI, is the theme for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishop’s national Respect Life Program for 2009-10.

Respect Life Sunday will be celebrated with Masses and pro-life prayer chains on Oct. 4 in dioceses throughout the United States.

Officials with the U.S. bishops’ Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities selected the theme from the Holy Father’s statement that, “Every child … brings us God’s smile and invites us to recognize that life is his gift, a gift to be welcomed with love and preserved with care always and at every moment.”

Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein is scheduled to be the celebrant for the archdiocesan Respect Life Sunday Mass at 1 p.m. on Oct. 4 at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis.

Catholics from throughout the archdiocese are invited to join the archbishop for this pro-life liturgy then participate in the one-hour Central Indiana Life Chain at 2:30 p.m. along North Meridian Street.

At the conclusion of the Respect Life Sunday Mass, Archbishop Buechlein will honor one adult with the Archbishop Edward T. O’Meara Respect Life Award and present two teenagers with the Our Lady of Guadalupe Pro-Life Youth Award for their distinguished service to the cause of life in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.

These pro-life award recipients will be announced in the Oct. 2 issue of The Criterion.

Adults and teenagers from parishes across the archdiocese will participate in the pro-life Mass by carrying banners representing the 11 deaneries in central and southern Indiana.

“The procession of the banners symbolizes the pro-life efforts that are being conducted in parishes and schools of the archdiocese,” said Servants of the Gospel of Life Sister Diane Carollo, director of the archdiocesan Office for Pro-Life Ministry.

“With the encouragement and blessing of Archbishop Buechlein, pro-life works and initiatives are undertaken with commitment and courage in the archdiocese,” Sister Diane said. “Sometimes people are tempted to feel that they are confronting the assaults against life alone in a given area. When they see the banners, … they will be reminded that the pro-life movement is both impressive and extensive in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.”

Ecumenical Life Chains also are scheduled in 27 other cities in Indiana and in 49 other states on Respect Life Sunday.

In addition to Indianapolis, pro-life supporters will be praying along Indiana streets in Bloomington, Carmel, Columbus, Connersville, Covington, Decatur, Elkhart, Evansville, Frankfort, Greencastle, Hartford City, Highland/Munster, Kokomo, Lafayette, Lebanon, Michigan City, Milan, Muncie, Noblesville, Plymouth, Portage, Rockport, Terre Haute, Valparaiso, Wabash, Warsaw and Westfield. †

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