Dear Parishioners: October is upon us and with it comes the fall weather, the colorful foliage, and football! However, as Catholics the Month of October means Respect Life Month. A time to pray and work for an increased respect for all human life from natural conception until natural death. Of course, there is much prayer and work needed to move our society from a culture of death to a culture of life. Pope Francis has stated: “All too often, as we know from experience, people do not choose life, they do not accept the ‘Gospel of Life’ but let themselves be led by ideologies and ways of thinking that block life, that do not respect life, because they are dictated by selfishness, self-interest, profit, power and pleasure, and not by love, by concern for the good of others.”
While we enjoy the right to life, we also each have the obligation to defend it for others especially the most vulnerable in our society. Pious words about human dignity are empty unless we do something to make them happen. We are called to act on our convictions in proclaiming the Gospel of Life. One practical way is to support the Baby Shower we are holding this weekend at OLM. All of the baby items are given to women who are in a crisis pregnancy and have chosen human life rather the going to the abortion mills at Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood often portrays itself as an organization that is concerned with “women’s reproductive and preventative healthcare.” However, the truth is that it makes millions of dollars from abortions. Last year they ended the life of over 300,000 innocent unborn children. However, we know that pregnancy is not a sickness and abortion is not really a form of preventative healthcare but rather the direct killing of an unborn child. Far too many of our political candidates and elected officials, very sadly many of them Catholic, not only support abortion and ally themselves with Planned Parenthood but they also want us to pay for abortions with tax dollars and fund the abortion mills like Planned Parenthood. Shockingly some even advocate that abortion should be legal right up until the ninth month of pregnancy!
October is a time that we draw ever closer to the Lord Jesus in prayer and in the sacraments. We must ask the Lord for the grace to see ourselves and others as He sees: children created in His image and likeness. So I urge you during this Respect Life Month of October to pray with greater fervor for an increase in the respect for all human life. Each Monday night at 7:00PM during this month we gather together before the Eucharistic Lord and pray the Rosary. Our October Devotions are to be offered for an increased protection for human life and respect for human dignity. It is truly a wonderful opportunity for each of us to bear witness to the Gospel of Life with prayer and devotion. Practically we must also continue to support pro-life initiatives like Project Gabriel and Project Racheal that our Diocesan Family Life Office sponsor. We can also support the many good works of RI Right to Life who educate and advocate for life. And finally we must consider where our political candidates and elected officials stand on the issue of life.
Last Sunday night over twenty-five high schoolers gathered with Father Connors for “Pizza with Padre.” They prayed before the Blessed Sacrament, reflected on a theological topic with Father Connors and then enjoyed some great pizza! All OLM high school students are invited to join in this great time on Sundays immediately after 5:00PM Mass. The homework can wait for one hour of prayer, theology and community! I invite all the men of OLM Parish to join us this Tuesday for Movie Night sponsored by the Men of St. Joseph. It should be a night of fun and fellowship. Also I offer my thanks to the many parishioners who were so generous to our Annual Collection. It is a great start for this critical collection. Please pray for Life this Month. See you at Monday Devotions. Pray for the Pats too! God Bless.