January 11, 2013

Mass, march and presentations are part of local solemn pro-life observance

By Mary Ann Garber

Chastity is the theme for the archdiocese’s third annual Local Solemn Observance of the tragic 1973 Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion in the United States.

Beginning with Mass at noon on Jan. 25 at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis, the solemn pro-life observance will focus on prayers to end the abortion holocaust, which has killed more than 53 million unborn babies.

It will correspond with the National March for Life on Jan. 25 in Washington.

Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin is the scheduled principal celebrant for the local pro-life Mass.

Following the liturgy, pro-life supporters are invited to participate in a brief Respect Life March along North Meridian Street then return to the cathedral for chastity presentations by Gabrielle Neal, Branden Stanley and Jason Adams, three Catholic young adults who embrace Church teachings.

Neal is program director of the archdiocesan Catholic Charities’ Refugee Resettlement Program. She will discuss “Out of Chastity Came Life … Eternal Life.”

“The Holy Family was a model of purity and chastity, and yet gave the world Life—eternal Life,” Neal said. “Their example calls each of us to think about how our chastity promotes and defends life.”

Stanley is a member of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish in Indianapolis, and a junior majoring in video production at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. He will address “Chastity in Relation to Patience and Innovation.”

Several years ago, he founded Starlight Media Productions to promote respect for life and other Christian values.

“The largest danger to our chastity is my generation’s lack of patience and insistence on innovation,” Stanley said. “… Our lack of patience has caused us to alter our view of sexuality into a form that is more consistent with our fast-moving, instant gratification lifestyle.”

Adams is theology chair at St. Theodore Guérin Catholic High School in Noblesville, Ind., in the Lafayette Diocese. He will address “A Still Beating Heart—Purity and Pro-Life Vitality.”

“The pro-life movement will remain alive and strong to the extent that it nurtures its roots,” Adams said, “namely, chastity and openness to children in marriage. … God’s design for human sexuality [is based on] the fact that sex is designed to create new life.”

Patricia Arthur, administrative assistant for the archdiocesan Office for Pro-Life Ministry, arranged the Mass and program to educate people of all ages about the importance of living a chaste life that honors God and respects life.

“If we’re [living] chaste [lives], there won’t be unexpected, crisis pregnancies so there won’t be any need for abortion,” Arthur said. “That won’t even be an option.”

(For more information about the archdiocese’s Local Solemn Observance of Roe v. Wade, call the archdiocesan Office for Pro-Life Ministry at 317-236-1521 or 800-382-9836, ext. 1521.)

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