By Maria Wiering
Archbishop of Baltimore William E. Lori will celebrate Mass Oct. 7 at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Homeland at 11 a.m. to commemorate Respect Life Sunday.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops annually designates the first Sunday in October, Respect Life Month, as Respect Life Sunday. This year’s theme is “Faith opens our eyes to human life in all its grandeur and beauty.”
During the Mass, Archbishop Lori will award the annual Culture of Life Medal of Honor to Matthew Marshall and Mary Bergin. Marshall and Bergin are parishioners of St. Thomas Aquinas in Hampden and active in pro-life work.
In 2008, Marshall founded “Helpers of God’s Precious Infants of Maryland,” a volunteer group that prays and offers sidewalk counseling outside of abortion facilities. He was inspired by a similar group in New York.
Bergin joined the group as a counselor in 2010.
Respect Life Month is a time to reenergize efforts and increase education surrounding life issues, from conception to natural death, said Linda Brenegan, archdiocesan Respect Life Office director.
“The fall seems like a natural time to step up our activities,” she said.
Among those activities is the semi-annual pro-life campaign 40 Days for Life. From Sept. 26-Nov. 4, participants in the Archdiocese of Baltimore will hold daily prayer vigils from 7 a.m.- 7 p.m. outside of abortion facilities in Annapolis, Baltimore and Frederick.
In a letter, Archbishop Lori asked priests to encourage their parishioners to take part in the campaign.
“Prayer changes things,” he wrote. “Within the boundaries of the archdiocese, in addition to the many mothers who have chosen life for their babies, at least one clinic has closed, another has drastically cut hours of operation, and several workers have left the abortion business and have been helped by those praying outside to find other employment.”
The statewide campaign begins Sept. 22 with a 10 a.m. kick-off event at Mother Seton parish in Germantown.
For more information about upcoming pro-life events, contact Linda Brenegan, archdiocesan Respect Life Office director, at 410-547-5537 or visit their website at http://tinyurl.com/AoBprolife.
Copyright (c) Sept. 15, 2012 CatholicReview.org