Pastor’s Corner – January 21, 2018
Monday next week, January 22, we as a country will mark the 45th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, which required states to legalize abortion. Since that date, some 50 plus million children were never given the opportunity to live the life God intended to give them, an opportunity we may take for granted. Science is slowly but surely catching up to what we have always known in faith, that life begins at the time of conception and should be nurtured and protected from that time, just like any human being who has been born. In this day and age, the value of human life and its dignity is not fully recognized by the world in general, or in our society in particular. It would be naive and foolish to believe that many of our recent tragic events which we all mourn as a nation, whether it be terrorism or hotel shootings, are not related to this lack of respect for human life in general. Let’s do our best in word and action to help change the minds and hearts of all to respect and cherish all human life as the gift from God that it is, and to respect and honor the dignity of all people not only in the big things, but in the little things.
The Catholic Church has been in the forefront of the movement to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision. More importantly, though, our Church has been in the forefront of trying to change the minds and hearts of individuals and our society about abortion. We do this in several ways, not the least of which is to publicly protest the injustice of abortion. In that regard, this week I will join a group of students and parents from Opelousas Catholic to travel to Washington, D.C. to participate in the Pro-Life Rally and March for Life. The March for Life is the longest sustained annual civil rights protest in our nation. Not all of us can travel to Washington, D.C. to march, but I do hope that as many of us as possible will participate in the diocesan march in Lafayette Saturday, January 20. The information regarding time, place and events is located in an announcement in this bulletin. It should be a good event, with speakers, the march and an opportunity for prayer. It is being held in conjunction with the Centennial Celebration of our diocese. It should be noted that in light of the diocesan-wide rally and march in Lafayette, there will be no local Opelousas march this year, as it is being joined to the Lafayette March.
For us as individuals, in Christian charity we all have a duty to help those who participate or have participated in abortion to see the immorality of the act, be they the mothers, the fathers, the doctors or the nurses, and to come to repentance. We also have a duty to help those who have participated in abortion to heal, especially on a spiritual level, as no sin is greater than God’s mercy. Rachael’s Vineyard is a diocesan program designed for men and woman who have participated in abortion and tries to facilitate healing of the wound left by the abortion. If you know of anyone who might benefit from this program, please inform them of the program’s availability so that they, who often are also victims of abortion because of the harm it has done to them, might begin the healing process. For information, they can call our office or contact the Diocese of Lafayette directly.
Finally, if we know someone considering an abortion, we should try to persuade them to give life to their child. We should not be afraid to voice the right thing to do and try to persuade their hearts and minds. If I can ever be of assistance in such a situation, please contact me and I will be happy to help.