From our pastor, Father Neil Herlihy
 
The most basic gift from God that we all share is the gift of life. It is the foundation that upon which rests all the other wonderful gifts the Lord has given us.  This Monday morning Archbishop Gregory will focus on the gift of life as he celebrates a special Mass for the Unborn at the Cathedral of Christ the King in Atlanta.  Then on Monday evening we will gather for a Prayer Vigil for Life in our Day Chapel at Saint Brigid.  Details concerning the Mass and the Vigil are included in the bulletin.

The Mass and the Vigil will bring attention to the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision of the U.S. Supreme Court.  This decision legalized abortion in this country.  This decision in effect minimized the value of human life and the dignity of the human person and is clearly not consistent with Catholic teaching.  At the Mass and the Vigil we will be invited in a special way to reaffirm our commitment to respect, cherish, and value all human life.  This also involves praying for the healing of those suffering from the painful trauma of abortion, and also for the healing of those who have hardened their hearts against the precious gift of life.

We can bear witness to the value and sacredness of the unborn, the elderly, and the physically and mentally ill.  We are urged to treat our brothers and sisters, young and old, with the dignity we ourselves expect.   They are God’s children too, and deserve our love and support.

The United States Conference of Bishops in its Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities has stated, “Only with prayer – prayer that storms the heavens for justice and mercy, prayer that cleanses our hearts and souls – will the culture of death that surrounds us today be replaced with a culture of life.”   The Bishops have provided the following prayer which embraces the call to truly appreciate the gift of life:

FATHER AND MAKER OF ALL,
YOU ADORN ALL CREATION WITH SPLENDOR AND BEAUTY,
AND FASHION HUMAN LIVES IN YOUR IMAGE AND LIKENESS.
AWAKEN IN EVERY HEART REVERENCE FOR THE WORK OF YOUR HANDS,
AND RENEW AMONG YOUR PEOPLE
A READINESS TO NURTURE AND SUSTAIN
YOUR PRECIOUS GIFT OF LIFE.

GRANT THIS THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, YOUR SON,
WHO LIVES AND REIGNS WITH YOU IN
THE UNITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, GOD FOR EVER AND EVER. AMEN.

As we reflect on this prayer, we are invited to reaffirm our commitment to welcome the joy of new life as a gift from God, and to support this life from conception until natural death.  We are also invited to bear witness to the Gospel of Life as we continue and persevere on our Christian journey of faith.

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