Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Peace and Joy in Our Lord Jesus Christ!
First, thank you for all of your sacrifices, prayers, and financial support which have helped make possible this culture of life moment and the end of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. This amazing moment in our lifetime is a victory for the Gospel of Life! Giving thanks to God is certainly an appropriate response but there is more for us to do.
Here is some important information for us all to consider as we move forward:
Since the Supreme Court’s decision, which makes abortion law a matter of State governance, Planned Parenthood Arizona and other known abortionists have suspended “abortion services” due to our Arizona Pre-Roe statute outlawing abortion “except in cases of the health of the mother”. It is likely that confirmation of the illegality of most abortions is announced soon. Praise God!
Now, the question “and what are you doing for these women and children?” comes sharply into focus. We know that the accusation against the Church, phrased “you only care about the child until it is born” is false. So much is already established, from the mind of Christ and the heart of the Church, to serve women in crisis, men who don’t know what being a father looks like, and children who are in danger of falling through the cracks. Catholic Charities Adoption Services, St. Vincent de Paul, our strong Catholic Pro-Life Clinics and Centers, Maggie’s Place, etc. BUT, we must step up into this breach anew, creatively and locally in our parishes. Approximately 1,000 women per month (2019 statistics) decide to have abortions in our state. They need our prayers of course. But they also need our willingness to support them, to walk with them so that abortion goes beyond illegal, to unthinkable. Impossible? Overturning Roe seemed very impossible at certain points. I hope we can leave the “possibleness” of all this in Our Lord’s hands and simply move forward in trust.
You are likely aware of the national parish effort from the USCCB Pro-Life Secretariat, led by Archbishop Joseph Naumann in 2019, and challenged by the whole virus situation. In November 2019, Bishop Olmsted immediately sent me the attached announcement, as it resonated for him in an deep way. Bishop Dolan, in his press conference a couple of weeks ago, specifically mentioned WWM enthusiastically in coming to know our Diocesan efforts for life and care for the vulnerable. This remains a high-priority respect life effort in our Diocese. Where are we currently with WWM? 41 parishes began planning in 2021, 21 parishes have launched or are near launching their WWM plan. Several are already actively accompanying women in their parish boundaries. We have a very good start, but having every parish in our Diocese engaged with WWM would be such an encouragement to women, to other Christians in our state, and frankly to the national level, where the DPHX effort, start-up as it is, has been noted.
On October 7 and 8, the diocese will host a WWM parish leadership English Language Conference to which priests and their delegates will be invited. Our diocese will be collaborating with the Sisters of Life—their remarkable prayer and experience of doing precisely this apostolic effort of Walking with Moms in Need. Day Two will be a Conference on the practical aspects of Walking with Moms. More information and specifics will be addressed in the coming months so stay tuned.
PRAY Our Father, 3 Hail Marys,
In the Blessed Virgin Mary, we are given the model of motherhood. When the angel Gabriel appeared to her, Mary accepted the invitation to be the mother of Jesus, who is “the way and the truth and the life” (Jn 14:6). Her unexpected pregnancy presented many challenges. Yet while the path laid before her was not easy, Mary chose to give of herself in sacrificial love.
Mothers with unexpected or challenging pregnancies can likely relate to the experience of our Blessed Mother, as they, too, often face challenging circumstances in answering God’s call to welcome new life. During times of difficulty and anxiety, we pray that Our Lady will draw pregnant mothers close to her heart and, through her intercession, bring comfort, encouragement, and joyful hope. In bravely living out their vocation, mothers reflect the sacrificial love of Christ on a daily basis. With the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Life as our guide, may we work to support all mothers, especially those who are most in need.
Read Pope Francis’ reflections on our Blessed Mother and the gift of motherhood in “Our Mother the Church and the Gift of Motherhood.” www.foryourmarriage.org/blogs/our-mother-the-church-and-thegift-of-motherhoodBACK TO LIST