More than a hundred people went to Mass first thing Saturday morning in North Buffalo; not just for the Eucharist, but also to show support for the Catholic teaching on life and marriage. Bishop Richard J. Malone noted the consistent attacks on pro-life beliefs and traditional marriage resembled the work of Satan as he presided over a Rosary Novena for Life and March for Marriage celebration at St. Rose of Lima Parish.
"With all the good things in the world, the evil one is still at work too," Bishop Malone said. "The evil one is real. Even the Scriptures call us to be vigilant about it. Resist and be steadfast in the faith. Can you do that? Can we do it together?
"We're trying to take a hold of the serpent in what we're doing today, in trying to hold off the attacks on unborn life, on life that would be threatened by euthanasia, and of course the assault on the very nature of marriage."
The Rosary Novena for Life is a traditional Mass at St. Rose of Lima to call for prayers for the end of abortion, euthanasia, and other issues that threaten life itself. Following the Mass, many Catholics meet outside the parish and silently and prayerfully walk to a nearby abortion clinic in Buffalo.
This year's service coincided with the third annual March for Marriage, which is a national protest in Washington, D.C., as many faith groups converge to show support for the traditional understanding of marriage as being between one man and one woman. Bishop Malone was unable to attend the event at the capitol, but was pleased to be able to incorporate the initiative into Saturday's Mass and walk.
During his homily, Bishop Malone noted how perfect the Mass readings - Peter 5:5-14 and Mark 16:15-20 - were for the occasion. It served as a sign to lift spirits in this moral conflict.
"With that first reading from Peter that calls us to realize that for all of our good efforts, what we're doing - by simply living the Christian life and our reverence for human life and respect for marriage - is really God's work, into which we have been drawn," the bishop said. "Sometimes we feel like we're trying to push that big bolder up the hill, to try and reverse the way our country has gone in these things. We need to hear this other line from Peter, 'Cast all your worries upon Him, upon God, because he cares for you.' We all need to hear that, as we continue our commitment to Jesus."