Dear Parishioners: In his address to the Joint Session of the US Congress last September, Pope Francis praised four Americans: the Trappist Monk Thomas Merton, the Peace and Poverty Activist Dorothy Day, President Abraham Lincoln and the Civil Rights Leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He called them "four representatives of the American people." Pope Francis lauded Day, King, Lincoln and Merton for using their dreams of justice, equal rights, liberty and peace to make America a better place.
This weekend we celebrate the difference Dr. King made our nation and for the civil rights and equality of African Americans In speaking of Dr. King, Pope Francis said: "I think of the march which Martin Luther King led from Selma to Montgomery 50 years ago as part of the campaign to fulfill his 'dream' of full civil and political rights for African Americans. That dream continues to inspire us all. I am happy that America continues to be, for many, a land of 'dreams.' Dreams which lead to action, to participation, to commitment. Dreams which awaken what is deepest and truest in the life of a people."
Perhaps on this MLK Holiday we might stop to offer prayers for a renewed commitment for equality and justice for all people in our nation. May the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. continue to inspire harmony and concord among peoples of all races and religions, may it help to remove hatred and bigotry from the hearts of all people.
On Friday, January 22nd, we remember the continued injustice of legal abortion in our nation as we mark 43rd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade US Supreme Court Decision. The great tragedy and injustice continues as millions of unborn children lose their innocent and precious lives to abortion every year.
At OLM it is to be a Day for Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children on this Friday. All-Day Eucharistic Adoration begins at 9:00aM and at 6:00PM it concludes with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Also at 6:00PM we are to offer Prayers of the Protection of the Unborn, and URI Chaplain Father Joe Upton is to offer a reflection on “Living the Gospel of Life.”
I hope on Friday you are able spend some time in prayer and adoration as we pray for the protection of the innocent unborn. Please stop by Church if you can or please stop during the day wherever you are and offer a prayer for the unborn. On Friday, may we all stop to pray for the victims of abortion both the children and their mothers.
May we pray for all expectant mothers and those in a crisis pregnancy and for all unborn children. May we pray for our political leaders that they may have the courage and conviction to work to protect all human life. And may we pray for the legal protection of unborn children in our nation and across the globe. Prayer is a powerful instrument in helping to end abortion so please join us on Friday as we commit to defending life and praying for the protection of the unborn.
In his address to Congress Pope Francis urged them to work to defend life including the unborn. He stated: ““The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development. I am convinced that this way is the best, since every life is sacred, every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity.”
Just as the battle for civil rights for African Americans was born of religious faith so too is the battle for the right to life of the unborn. In an age when many falsely contend that faith has no place in the public square, our history and experience teach us differently. The voice of religious leaders and people of faith is needed today as much as it was when Dr. King spoke out so passionately for justice and equality. Let us give voice to the voiceless as we call out for justice and equality for the unborn child threatened by abortion.
I am away this week visiting with my seminary classmates who now teach in the college seminary in Miami. Be well. Do good. God Bless. Go Pats, Go!!!!!