Pro-life commitment, closer to home

Pro-life commitment, closer to home
Father Hugh J. Bradley of Holy Angels Parish, Woodbury, signs during a pro-life Mass sponsored by the Office of Ministry With the Deaf and Persons with Disabilities at Holy Saviour Church, Westmont (Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Parish) on Jan. 22. The severe snowstorm caused many local Catholics who planned to attend the March for Life in Washington to show their support for life locally. Photo by Alan M. Dumoff

Father Hugh J. Bradley of Holy Angels Parish, Woodbury, signs during a pro-life Mass sponsored by the Office of Ministry With the Deaf and Persons with Disabilities at Holy Saviour Church, Westmont (Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Parish) on Jan. 22. The severe snowstorm caused many local Catholics who planned to attend the March for Life in Washington to show their support for life locally.
Photo by Alan M. Dumoff

For passionate pro-lifers throughout the Diocese of Camden, Winter Storm Jonas might have changed their travel plans, but not their enthusiasm last weekend.

High school and parish groups were ready to make their annual pilgrimage to Washington, D.C. for the March for Life on Jan. 22, joining the hundreds of thousands in standing up for life to mark to the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.

Among those revising their schedules was Bishop Dennis Sullivan, who originally planned on being among the masses to march from the Washington Monument to the steps of the Supreme Court. After the weather forecast called for at least two feet of snow up and down the I-95 corridor, he instead celebrated the 7 a.m. Mass in Mantua, at Church of the Incarnation.

The Camden leader joined the faithful in asking God to “bring people to respect your gift of human life,” and lamented the Roe v. Wade decision, with an estimated 58 million-plus unborn children losing their lives since its passage.

Also at the morning liturgy were Knights of Columbus members from Incarnation; Infant Jesus, Woodbury Heights; and Holy Name of Jesus, Mullica Hill, who were originally set to travel via bus to D.C. After the Mass at Incarnation, they left for Trenton to rally in front the Capitol building.

“If we don’t stand up, who will?” said Bill Simonini, Grand Knight at Incarnation.

Richard MacDonald, Grand Knight at Infant Jesus, was in the pews Friday morning with his wife, Zenith, and their children Gwyneth, 12 years old, and Gareth, 7. In years past, the family has made the trip to D.C., and this year, Richard was among the Knights headed to Trenton.

“The power of prayer is immense. We do our part,” he said.

Nine students from Wildwood Catholic High School changed their plans from D.C. to Trenton and joined hundreds on the Capitol steps.

The unborn “should get a chance at life,” said sophomore Micah Rucci. “Abortion is not what we believe in as Catholics.”

Later that day, in Westmont at Holy Saviour Church, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Parish, a pro-life Mass was celebrated for the deaf community of the diocese and for persons with disabilities. Father Hugh Bradley signed the liturgy for the deaf, while Sister Bonnie McMenamin, co-director of the Office of Ministry with the Deaf/Persons with Disabilities, interpreted for the hearing.

“We need to celebrate from the womb to the tomb,” Sister Bonnie said.

Mass-goers at the Westmont church were asked to bring baby items such as bibs, diapers and clothes, that would be donated to the Good Counsel Home in Riverside, which aids mothers and their babies.

Among the other pro-life activities in the diocese was a Mass that was celebrated that evening at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Shine in Lindenwold.

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