A Mass for the observance of the 43rd anniversary of the United States Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade legalizing abortion will take place on Saturday, Jan. 16, at 4 p.m. at Divine Mercy Parish, 2437 Niagara St., Niagara Falls. The Mass serves as a symbol of reparation for the millions of unborn children, victims of abortion; reconciliation for all women and men who have been involved in an abortion; and recommitment to end abortion-on-demand in our nation. Bishop Richard J. Malone will be the main celebrant.
During the Mass, the diocesan Office of Pro-Life Activities will present the 21st annual Pro-Vita Awards. These awards are intended to recognize people who have labored tirelessly for the pro-life cause and to give them strength, encouragement and support.
This year's recipients include Sarah Boyle, of St. George Parish, West Falls, who is the youth award recipient. Eagle Scouts Thomas Crino, of St. Mary Parish, Olean, and Caleb Beatty, of the Canisius College campus ministry community, will be honored in the organization category. The lay award recipient is Liz Ziarnowski-Truesdell who is involved with the St. Gianna Pregnancy Outreach Center in Niagara County and sidewalk prayer program, and also serves as a mentor. This year's professional award recipient is Dr. Jaime Christine Obts of Catholic Health. Dr. Obts works at Sisters Hospital, is involved in the Advocate for Life program, and serves as a "lifeline" for the Office of Pro-Life Activities. Father Dennis Riter, pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Dunkirk, will be recognized for his work on behalf of the Northern Chautauqua Community Involvement and support of pro-life activities including the St. Gianna Pregnancy Outreach Center and the burial of "Baby Jesse," the male fetus discovered in August 2014 along the shoreline of Lake Erie State Park in Portland.
Catholics are encouraged to participate in a solemn observance of the Roe v. Wade anniversary by placing a candle (electric, battery-operated or wax) in the front window of their homes at sundown on Friday, Jan. 22. The candle serves as a reminder of millions of unborn babies who have been aborted since the 1973 Supreme Court decision.
The annual March for Life will take place in Washington, D.C., on Friday, Jan. 22.
For more information, visit the Office of Pro-Life Activities website.