October is Respect Life Month, promoting respect for human life in light of our intrinsic dignity as having been created in God’s image and likeness and called to an eternal destiny with him. This year, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities invites Catholics to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Respect Life Month by embracing “radical solidarity” with women facing difficult or challenging pregnancies. St John Paul II, who coined the term “radical solidarity” in reference to the care owed to vulnerable pregnant women, said: “In firmly rejecting ‘pro-choice’ it is necessary to become courageously ‘pro-woman,’ promoting a choice that is truly in favor of women. … The only honest stance, in these cases, is that of radical solidarity with the woman.” While our efforts must remain strong to end legalized abortion, it is our responsibility as Catholics to surround mothers in need with life-giving support and personal accompaniment.
Today is Respect Life Sunday, when thousands will join the Life Chain which is a peaceful, prayerful demonstration in opposition to abortion, other attacks on human life, and an end to all violence. Pro-life individuals throughout the USA and Canada will join the National Life chain in about 2000 cities. We can get more info at www.Lifechain.org. In our area, the Life Chain will be held in Somerville, along Somerset Street, anywhere from the corner of Route 206 down to Veteran’s Memorial Hwy. The Life Chain continues up Mountain Avenue past Immaculate Conception Parish. Everyone is welcome to join.
Our newly commissioned Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) had its first meeting recently and it was decided that important matters discussed by the PPC concerning the parish should be communicated to the parishioners. Accordingly, the Co-Secretaries of the PPC have prepared a report that you can read elsewhere in this bulletin.
One of the matters you will see therein is about having a basketball court for our students. It is sad that ours is the only parish that I know without a parish gym nor a basketball court for our school students to play. Some of our parents, through our Principal Mary Lynch, proposed the idea of a basketball court without any enclosure in our parking lot so that our students could play in a junior school-level court. After consulting with the PPC and the Property Management Committee, I have happily agreed to have this long-felt need for a basketball court without any enclosure so that the present parking spaces will not be lost. Thanks to the parents who have come forward to sponsor this project.
Today we have the Blessing of animals, in honor of St. Francis of Assisi who showed us the right attitude of care for all of God’s creatures. Francis had pets, a lamb, a pheasant, a rabbit, a cicada, a dog, and a wolf! He was as polite and considerate to an earthworm, a slug, a bird, a beetle, or amole, as amusedly tolerant, understanding and warmly loving as one would be to one’s brother and sister. Indeed, he addressed them as his brothers and sisters! I look forward to seeing a variety of pets brought to be blessed as in the past years
Your brother in Christ.
Fr. Abraham Orapankal