Mass for the Unborn

u1Mass for the Unborn sponsored by the Knights of Columbus was celebrated at St Stanislaus Kostka church in Brooklyn on Saturday, March 25th, 2017 on the Solemnity of Annunciation. This day is  know also as The International Day of the Unborn Child.

First officially celebrated in Argentina in 1999 under the Pontificate of Pope John Paul II, this day is a celebration of the value and dignity of every human person from the moment of conception, as well as a day of remembrance for those unborn children who have lost their lives to the violence of abortion.

The Holy Father linked this day to the feast of the Annunciation to honor the day when God was conceived and became an unborn child in the womb of Our Blessed Mother. Though celebrated in conjunction with the feast of the Annunciation, the Day of the Unborn Child is not an exclusively Catholic or Christian event. Any pro-life group, whether affiliated with a faith or not, is welcome and encouraged to participate in local events or form their own events to celebrate human life.

Remarks of the Mass by Pro-Life groups leader Mr Rick Kenny:

WAS IT NOT JESUS HIMSELF WHO SAID: “ALLOW THE LITTLE CHILDREN TO COME UNTO ME, AND FORBID THEM NOT, FOR OF SUCH IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD?” MY GOD! WHERE HAVE WE GONE WRONG?

REVEREND CLERGY, WORTHY DIGNITARIES OF THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS AND EACH OF YOU, SUPPORTERS OF LIFE: GOOD MORNING, WELCOME, AND THANK YOU FOR COMING AS WE COMMEMORATE THE DAY OF THE UNBORN CHILD.  THIS LITURGY IS SPONSORED BY THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS.  KAROL CARDINAL WOYTILA, WHO ONCE STOOD IN THIS SAME MAGNIFICENT CHURCH AND WALKED DOWN THAT VERY CENTER AISLE, ULTIMATELY TO BE RAISED TO SAINTHOOD AS POPE ST. JOHN PAUL II, PROCLAIMED THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS “THE STRONG RIGHT ARM OF THE CHURCH.”

WHY?  BECAUSE THE KNIGHTS HAVE BEEN IN THE FOREFRONT OF THE PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT FROM THE INSTANT THE DECISION IN THE CASE OF ROE V WADE WAS HANDED DOWN BY THE U.S. SUPREME COURT IN 1973, LEGALIZING ABORTION IN THIS NATION. AS WE APPROACH THE 45TH ANNIVERSARY OF THAT DECISION, SOME 56 MILLION CHILDREN HAVE LOST THEIR LIVES TO ABORTION. TO PUT THAT NUMBER IN CONTEXT, IT IS ESTIMATED THAT ONLY 50 MILLION LIVES WERE LOST IN ALL OF WORLD WAR II, TO INCLUDE VICTIMS OF THE HOLOCAUST AND THE BOMBINGS OF HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI.

THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS REMAIN FULLY COMMITTED TO DEFENDING THE RIGHT TO LIFE OF EVERY HUMAN BEING, FROM THE MOMENT OF CONCEP-TION UNTIL NATURAL DEATH.  IT IS COMMITTED TO BUILDING A CULTURE OF LIFE, TO COUNTER WHAT POPE JOHN PAUL TERMED IN HIS ENCYCLICAL ‘THE GOSPEL OF LIFE:A PREVAILING CULTURE OF DEATH IN WHICH THE MORAL ‘CRIME’ OF ABORTION IS NOW VIEWED AS AN ‘INDIVIDUAL RIGHT.’  CHOICES ONCE CONSIDERED UNANIMOUSLY CRIMINAL AND REJECTED BY COMMON MORAL SENSE ARE GRADUALLY BECOMING SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE.

AND SO WE CONSIDER THE SITUATION OF ABORTION IN OUR COUNTRY TODAY.  IT IS SO EASY TO THROW UP OUR HANDS AND SAY NONE OF US CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. BUT AS I SPEAK, LOOK AROUND YOU. ALL OF US HERE ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE. WHY BOTHER? WHY BOTHER?  WE HAD A SNOWSTORM HERE LAST WEEK, AND MANY OF OUR ELDERLY NEIGHBORS AND FRIENDS WERE LOOKING FOR SOME YOUNG PEOPLE TO SHOVEL THE SNOW FROM IN FRONT OF THEIR HOUSES.  SADLY, THERE WERE FEW IF ANY.

WE LOOK AT ALL THE LOCAL PARISH SCHOOLS, STS CYRIL & METHODIUS, ST. ANTHONY, OUR LADY OF MT. CARMEL, NOW CLOSED IN PART DUE TO THERE NOT BEING ENOUGH CHILDREN AVAILABLE TO ATTEND.  IN DISGUST, WE LOOK AT HOSPITALS AND ABORTION CLINICS AND WE SEE THE VERY FUTURE OF OUR COUNTRY CARRIED OUT TO A TRUCK AS WHAT WE NOW POLITELY CALL “REGU-LATED MEDICAL WASTE,” IN TRUTH, GARBAGE! DID THOSE REMAINS PERHAPS INCLUDE THE PERSON WHO WOULD HAVE DISCOVERED THE CURE FOR CANCER?

THE OUTLOOK FOR THE IMMEDIATE FUTURE MAY SEEM BLEAK. “PRO-GRESSIVE” POLITICIANS PROPOSE LAWS JUSTIFYING ABORTION AND MAKING IT PERMANENT POLICY IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK, JUST IN CASE THE SUPREME COURT SHOULD SOME DAY REVERSE ROE V WADE.  AS THE FORMER NEW YORK STATE PRO-LIFE CHAIRMAN OF THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS, I HAVE SPOKEN ON THE VERY STEPS OF THE STATE CAPITOL BUILDING IN ALBANY IMPLORING OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS INSIDE TO FOLLOW THEIR CONSCIENCES, MANY IRONICALLY FORMED IN A CATHOLIC SCHOOL, ONLY TO FIND FEW, IF ANY, HAVE THE COURAGE AND MORAL CONVICTION TO JOIN OUR PRO-LIFE RALLY OUTSIDE.

IN SPITE OF ALL THAT I’VE JUST SAID, HOWEVER, I WOULD LIKE TO REMIND YOU OF THE SOMETIMES FORGOTTEN VIRTUE OF HOPE. I WANT TO TELL YOU THE TIMES ARE CHANGING.”  FOR THOSE OF YOU NOT IN THIS COUNTRY AT THE TIME, OR TOO YOUNG TO REMEMBER, LET’S CONSIDER THIS. A FEW WEEKS AGO, NORMA McCORVEY, WHO WAS THE REAL “JANE ROE” BEHIND ROE V WADE, DIED AT THE AGE OF 69. THE POSTER CHILD FOR ABORTION RIGHTS, SHE SPENT 35 YEARS IN POVERTY, ADDICTION, A LESBIAN RELATIONSHIP, AND WORKED IN AN ABORTION CLINIC, NOT EXACTLY A ROLE MODEL FOR OUR CHILDREN.

PREGNANT FOR A 3RD TIME AT AGE 22, SHE HAD ALREADY GIVEN UP ONE CHILD TO ADOPTION AND ANOTHER TO HER ALCOHOLIC MOTHER.  RESTRICTIVE TEXAS LAWS PREVENTED HER FROM ENDING HER UNWANTED PREGNANCY. SHE COULD NOT AFFORD TO TRAVEL TO ANY OF THE SIX STATES WHERE ABORTION WAS LEGAL AT THAT TIME. SEEKING LEGAL HELP, SHE WAS REFERRED TO A YOUNG LAWYER WHO WAS ANXIOUSLY LOOKING FOR PLAINTIFFS SO SHE COULD SUE TEXAS OVER ITS ABORTION BAN. McCORVEY WAS “USED.” THE CASE WOULD GO ALL THE WAY TO THE SUPREME COURT. IT WAS ONLY YEARS AFTER THE HISTORIC SUPREME COURT RULING THAT McCORVEY ACKNOWLEDGED SHE’D MADE UP HER ORIGINAL CLAIM THAT HER “ROE” PREGNANCY WAS THE RESULT OF RAPE, AS SHE HAD TOLD THE DALLAS DISTRICT ATTORNEY HENRY WADE.

BUT GOD WORKS IN STRANGE WAYS. IN 1995, THE CHRISTIAN GROUP ‘OPERATION RESCUE’ MOVED IN NEXT DOOR TO THE ABORTION CLINIC WHERE SHE WORKED. CURIOUS, AND OF COURSE SKEPTICAL, SHE WENT IN TO VISIT AND ARGUE.  BUT AS TIME WENT ON, SHE ACTUALLY BEGAN TO ASK THE GROUP TO PRAY FOR HER. SHE RENOUNCED HER SEXUAL ORIENTATION, AND THE INFAMOUS SUPREME COURT DECISION, AND BECAME A STAUNCH PRO-LIFE ADVOCATE.  IN 1998, SUPPORTED BY THE NATIONAL ORGANIZATION ‘PRIESTS FOR LIFE’, SHE CONVERTED TO CATHOLICISM. IN 2013, SHE PROCLAIMED “I AM DEDICATED TO SPENDING THE REST OF MY LIFE UNDOING THE LAW THAT BEARS MY NAME.”  GOD WORKS IN STRANGE WAYS.  THIS IS WHAT GIVES US HOPE!

LAST MONTH, AT THE 44TH ANNUAL PRO-LIFE MARCH IN WASHINGTON, VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE BECAME THE HIGHEST GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL EVER TO ADDRESS THAT EVENT IN PERSON. HIS MESSAGE TO THE HALF A MILLION MARCHERS ASSEMBLED WAS: “LIFE IS WINNING IN AMERICA, AND TODAY IS A CELEBRATION OF THAT PROGRESS, BECAUSE OF ALL OF YOU AND MANY THOUSANDS WHO STAND WITH US IN RALLIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY.” HE PROMISED THE ADMINISTRATION WOULD WORK WITH CONGRESS TO STOP TAXPAYER FUNDING FOR ABORTION. HE CONTINUED: “LET YOUR GENTLENESS BE KNOWN TO ALL.  I BELIEVE WE WILL CONTINUE TO WIN THE HEARTS AND MINDS OF (LISTEN TO THIS) THE RISING GENERATION.”  THE TIMES ARE CHANG-ING. THESE THINGS GIVE US HOPE!

LOOK AT THE PHOTOS AND NEWS FOOTAGE OF THAT MARCH, AND FOR A CHANGE THIS YEAR THERE ACTUALLY WAS SOME.  LOOK AT THE THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS OF YOUNG COLLEGE STUDENTS, FROM ALMOST EVERY STATE IN THE UNION, WHO SINCERELY SUPPORT A CHANGE IN OUR NATION’S MINDSET ABOUT ABORTION. THEY WANT THEIR MOVEMENT TO BE KNOWN FOR COMPASS-ION, NOT CONFRONTATION.  THEIR LANGUAGE WAS CIVIL, NO GARBAGE CANS WERE THROWN THROUGH STARBUCK’S WINDOWS. NO CARS SET ON FIRE. THE YOUTH OF AMERICA, AS CASEY STENGEL USED TO SAY, WERE A PEACEFUL, GENTLE VOICE FOR LIFE, ECHOING OUR JEWISH FRIENDS WHO SO PROUDLY EXCLAIM ,“L’ACHAIM,” TO LIFE!  THERE IS SO MUCH FOR US TO BE ENCOURAG-ED ABOUT.  WE MUST KEEP THE FAITH.

A KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS-MARIST POLL LAST YEAR PROVIDES YET MORE ENCOURAGEMENT. THOUGH 51% OF AMERICANS SAY THEY ARE PRO-CHOICE, 78% OF AMERICANS SUPPORT RESTRICTIONS ON ABORTION, TO LIMIT IT TO, AT MOST, THE FIRST THREE MONTHS OF PREGNANCY. TAXPAYER FUNDING FOR ABORTION IS OPPOSED BY 62% OF AMERICANS. 78% OF AMERICANS WANT ABORTION CLINICS TO BE HELD TO THE SAME SANITARY STANDARDS AS OTHER OUTPATIENT SURGERY CENTERS. THIS INCLUDES 84% OF MILLENNIALS, AND THEREIN LIES OUR HOPE!  THE TIMES ARE CHANGING.  LOOK AT HOW GOD WORKS IN STRANGE WAYS.

POPE BENEDICT XVI STATED: “THE FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT, THE PRE-SUPPOSITION OF EVERY OTHER RIGHT, IS THE RIGHT TO LIFE ITSELF.”  THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE OF THESE UNITED STATES BEGINS: “WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS TO BE SELF-EVIDENT, THAT ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL AND THAT THEY ARE ENDOWED BY THEIR CREATOR (NOT THEIR GOVERNMENT), WITH CERTAIN INALIENABLE (INDISPUTABLE) RIGHTS, AND THAT AMONG THESE ARE LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.”

IF YOU’VE EVER LOOKED AT A SONOGRAM OF A CHILD MOVING IN THE WOMB, OR HELD A NEW-BORN BABY IN YOUR ARMS, OR LOOKED, AS I DID LAST WEEK, AT MY JUST-BORN GRANDDAUGHTER, OR LISTENED, AS THE KNIGHTS OF LEXINGTON COUNCIL DID LAST NIGHT AT RONALD McDONALD HOUSE TO KIDS WITH CANCER WHO WANT SO MUCH TO LIVE, YOU REALIZE THAT NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO DECLARE ANY HUMAN BEING AS UNWORTHY OF LIFE.

AS CATHOLICS,         ALL OF US HERE HAVE A DUTY TO DEFEND LIFE AT ALL STAGES.  BY ADVOCATING A CONSISTENT PRO-LIFE MESSAGE, BY SUPPORTING PREGNANCY CENTERS AND ALTERNATIVES TO ABORTION, AND BY CONVINCING OUR FELLOW CITIZENS OF THE NECESSITY OF PROTECTING VULNERABLE HUMAN LIFE, OUR IMPACT CAN INDEED BE FELT THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.

THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS SUPPORT WOMEN WHO ARE DRIVEN TO ABORTION, AS MUCH AS WE STRONGLY DEFEND THE DEFENSELESS IN OUR SOCIETY. WE ARE BOTH PRO-LIFE AND PRO-WOMAN. AS YOU FORM A NEW KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS COUNCIL IN YOUR OWN PARISH, THE PRO-LIFE PROGRAM IS JUST ONE OF THE MANY ACTIVITIES YOU CAN USE THE POWER AND REPUTATION OF THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS TO SUPPORT.

FINALLY, LET US FERVENTLY PRAY TODAY TO HEAR THE LAUGHTER OF CHILDREN ECHO ONCE AGAIN ON THE STREETS OF GREENPOINT. LET US PRAY FOR THE DAY WHEN WE REOPEN THOSE SHUTTERED SCHOOLS. LET US PRAY FOR A RETURN TO AN APPRECIATION AND RESPECT FOR EVERY HUMAN LIFE, CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD HIMSELF, FROM THE MOMENT OF CONCEPTION TO THE MOMENT OF NATURAL DEATH.  I URGE YOU TO KEEP THE FAITH, HOLD ON TO THE HOPE, TRUST IN GOD!  GOD BLESS EACH OF YOU AND MAY GOD BLESS AMERICA!

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