Rochester worshipers pray for unborn children during Mass for Life

Father Anthony Mugavero delivers the homily during the January 22 Mass for Life at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Rochester. (Photo via courier by Jeff Witherow)

ROCHESTER – After returning home from the March for Life in Washington, D.C., around 2 a.m. on January 22, Deanna Joy slept for a few hours and then joined in peaceful public witness and prayer for the end of abortion.

“It was cold, but it was just an opportunity to give respect for life and an opportunity to come together for the cause until abortion is over,” Joy said of attending a event outside Planned Parenthood on University Avenue on the morning of January 22.

From there, Joy, still wearing her snow pants and wearing a hat, gloves and hand warmers, headed to Sacred Heart Cathedral to continue praying for the sanctity of all human life.

Since the Supreme Court decisions of 1973 Roe vs. Wade and Doe v. Bolt, January 22 has been designated as a day of prayer and penance, called “Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children”. To mark this day, Bishop Salvatore R. Matano offered a diocesan mass for life at Sacred Heart Cathedral.

“It is a joy to welcome you to this cathedral church,” Bishop Matano told those present after the opening procession. “I thank God that you are indeed steadfast in your faith and united with all of our brothers and sisters across the United States and the world itself in prayer for an extraordinary gift of life. So with gratitude in our hearts and with the intercession of our mother Mary, we pray that the life of all, from the moment of conception until natural death, is truly respected.

After Deacon Michael Kristan proclaimed the Gospel of Luke about Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth, Father Anthony Mugavero, pastor of the Church of the Holy Apostles, spoke of that visit and how the presence of Jesus could be experienced dramatically before he was born.

“His presence made itself felt in the meeting he had with John the Baptist, Mary and Elizabeth, because he had been there (Mary’s womb) since his conception, only a few days before, since Mary’s yes to the angel Gabriel. … No matter how small Jesus was in the first moment of his earthly life, he was really, really, fully present.

We must treat the flesh of others with great care because it is so precious, holy and sacred, Fr Mugavero said. He then posed a question: How does our society process this image of God in others?

“If you watch, read or listen to the news, you don’t quite know, to say the least,” he said, citing societal ills such as euthanasia, suicide assisted, racism, sex trafficking, violence, poverty and mistreatment of refugees in different countries.

However, the image of God is most affected in those affected by abortion, especially our unborn brothers and sisters, Fr. Mugavero noted.

“The most innocent and defenseless are eliminated at will, without any protection, until the moment of birth, and unbelievably, sometimes beyond that,” he said. “What differentiates the unborn child from all the other victims of injustice? It’s the fact that we never hear about it. They literally have no voice, and because of this they continue to be silently marginalized, they are brutally destroyed and rejected.

That is why, Fr. Mugavero said, these innocent victims need the strongest protection and all our voices and power working on their behalf.

Joy told the Catholic Mail she tries to lend her voice to the protection of the unborn by participating in sidewalk ministry outside of Planned Parenthood as often as she can.

“It just energizes me this work in ministry, and God has certainly given me a gift, and by His grace to answer this call to be present,” Joy said. “It really gives me life.”

Although she lent her voice to protect unborn children in Washington, D.C. and Rochester, she said she felt it was always important to be present at Mass for Life to celebrate the Holy Eucharist. , source and summit of the Catholic faith.

“Being spiritually fed, coming together and praying is the backbone that sustains us to do what we do as Christians. Being equipped to fight the good fight, being the defender and protector of our unborn brothers and sisters,” she said.

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