September 28, 2012

Respect Life Sunday focuses on ending abortion

By Mary Ann Garber

Respect Life Sunday will be celebrated in the archdiocese on Oct. 7 with a Mass, awards presentation and prayer vigil for an end to abortion.

The archdiocesan events are part of the U.S. bishops’ annual respect life campaign at dioceses throughout the country as well as the national Life Chain, an interdenominational, outdoor, pro-life prayer service.

This year’s Respect Life Sunday theme—chosen by the bishops’ Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities in Washington, D.C.—is “Faith Opens Our Eyes to Human Life in All Its Grandeur and Beauty.”

In a statement announcing the annual pro-life observance, the bishops noted that, “The 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade lands squarely within the Year of Faith. It is as if the Holy Father has given the Church in the United States a focused time to acknowledge the great sin of abortion with all its manifold consequences, and to embrace a time of penance and conversion.

“Above all, in this Year of Faith,” the bishops stated, “may the Church and all its members become living witnesses to God’s longing to forgive and to pour out his healing mercy upon all those who have promoted or been wounded by the culture of death.”

Next year marks the tragic anniversary of four decades of legalized abortion in the U.S., which permits unborn babies to be killed during all nine months of pregnancy.

Prayers for an end to abortion will begin with the archdiocesan Respect Life Mass at 1 p.m. on Oct. 7 at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral, 1347 N. Meridian St., in Indianapolis.

Father Stephen Giannini, vice chancellor and archdiocesan vicar for clergy and parish life coordinators, is the principal celebrant.

At the conclusion of the archdiocesan pro-life liturgy, an adult and youth will be honored for their distinguished volunteer service to the cause of life.

Catholics attending Respect Life Masses at parishes in central and southern Indiana will also pray for an end to abortion during the weekend liturgies on Oct. 6-7.

Pro-life prayers will continue during the Central Indiana Life Chain from 2:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. along North Meridian Street in Indianapolis as well as at other Life Chain observances throughout the state and nation.

Paula Stahl of Columbus, the Central Indiana Life Chain coordinator and member of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish in Indianapolis, said the T-shirt this year is red and has a patriotic theme. The design features a baby, American flag and the message “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness—not just for some, but for all.”

Other Life Chains in the archdiocese are scheduled for one hour at various times on Oct. 7 in Bedford, Bloomington, Brazil, Brookville, Columbus, Connersville, Greencastle, Milan, Richmond, Rockport and Terre Haute. These locations are among an estimated 1,500 cities and towns scheduled to conduct the pro-life prayer vigil on Respect Life Sunday. †

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