Mon, May 5th 2014 10:00 am
The first few days of May have brought a Pro-Life focus to the Diocese of Buffalo with a series of events that began Sunday with the second annual Blessing of the Child in the Womb Mass at St. Joseph Cathedral in Buffalo.
The Mass came about as a new rite in the Catholic Church that blesses unborn children and their expectant parents. Approved by the Vatican in 2012, the Diocese of Buffalo began celebrating the rite last year, as its scheduled to be held between the feast day of St. Gianna Molla, patron saint of mothers, on April 28, and Mother's Day in May.
Bishop Richard J. Malone celebrated the Mass at the cathedral Sunday. His homily touched upon many of the same themes he spoke about on Easter Sunday.
"You ever notice how the lives of children are enriched by a sense of imagination, amazement and awe?" he said. "The more I listen to the wonderful stories of the Easter season, all of these appearances of the Risen One to his friends and followers, the more I sense the importance of engaging our imagination as a way of getting to the truth. Unlike the way it is with children, it's often difficult for us as grown-ups ... to imagine new alternatives to what has come to be taken for granted in our lives, the world, in society and the Church. For many, sadly, it's far easier to reduce the mystery of Christ rising from the dead."
Bishop Malone also stressed the call to evangelization, one of the central themes of his ministry.
"By your baptism, we all are stewards of the mysteries of God," the bishop said. "We all are heralds of the risen one, proclaimers of the joy of the Gospel. Today, we have the privilege of asking God's blessing of children unborn. We are so grateful that anyone who is expecting the gift of new life has come here today. In giving life to this unborn human being, you are witness to the meaning of Easter as well: The meaning of new life."
The message of Pro-Life continues today with the two-day Project Rachel conference. A Mass for the ministry, which helps people deal with post-abortion stress and grief, will be celebrated at the cathedral at 7 p.m. tonight.
Project Rachel ministers, counselors and diocesan priests will attend a special conference about the topic at Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora tomorrow.