DAY FOR LIFE
Each year Day for Life provides an opportunity to reﬂect on the dignity of every human person, both young and old, and to pray for and support all life from conception to natural death. This year’s Day for Life provides us with an opportunity to reﬂect, to pray and to offer practical and emotional support, especially for those who have lost a child and for those women who are anxious about their pregnancy.
As we approach the 50th anniversary of the Abortion Act in October, we mourn the large annual number of abortions and continue to pray for the care and support of mothers and their children in the womb. Pope Francis, reminding us of the consistent teaching of the Church, describes abortion as a grave sin. As a compassionate pastor, however, he reminds priests that they are called to be ministers of God’s mercy. He also points out that we have not done enough to support and accompany pregnant women in desperate circumstances.
In his Angelus address on the Italian Day for Life in February this year, Pope Francis said to thousands gathered in St Peter’s Square, “May no one be left alone and may love defend the sense of life.” Citing the words of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, he continued: “Life is beauty, admire it. Life is life, ﬁght for it… Each life is sacred. Let’s pray together for those children who are in danger of interruption of pregnancy and for those who are nearing the end of life.” These words can help us rediscover a spirit of awe towards the gift of human life and stir our hearts to the wonder of this gift.
Within our parish communities, we are called to reach out and accompany all those who are alone, and to offer real practical support to those in need, which includes worried mums and dads and those struggling with the news of their pregnancy.
Please invite your parishioners to support the crucial work of Day for Life by their generosity to the collection which is taken today. This enables the Church to fund the Anscombe Bioethics Centre as well as projects that seek to care for life at every stage and in every condition. Please visit and encourage others to visit www.dayforlife.org.
Bishop John Sheerington