On October 3, hundreds of faithful filled Saint Maria Goretti (SMG) Church for Bishop McGrath’s celebration of the annual Mass for the Dignity of Human Life. The Mass was celebrated in the Parish’s three languages, English, Spanish and Vietnamese.
In his homily, Bishop McGrath said, “As Christians, we do not view life with defeat and despair, but rather as a gift, God’s gift to us.” He cited Luke’s Gospel, where Mary proclaims the greatness of the Lord, and already carrying the Christ child, journeyed into the hill country to be with her elderly and pregnant kinswoman, Elizabeth. “The work of 40 Days for Life…is nothing less than a continuation of what God initiated in Mary…Your defense of the defenseless, your care for human life in every instance, follows directly from Mary’s proclamation of the goodness of our God. The defenseless unborn are called to life by our Lord; they deserve to see the light of day. Our prayers and our work on their behalf can never, ever diminish. ”
Quoting Pope Francis, the Bishop also called attention to the plight of our immigrants, refugees, DACA kids, and the victims of natural disasters and man-made tragedies.
According to Peggy Montoya, of Sacred Heart Saratoga, “The Bishop’s homily really touched me. The highlight of every 40 Days for Life Campaign is the Bishop’s Mass. His presence represents a strong statement for the rights of the unborn and his support for women who are pregnant. This prolife issue is dear to my heart and I thank Bishop McGrath for his continued support for our efforts to show compassion and give help to those in crisis pregnancies. ”
The Mass was the culmination of the work of many hands at Saint Maria Goretti, in cooperation with 40 Days and other ministries. In addition to the Knights of Columbus Color Guard, fifteen diocesan priests concelebrated the Mass, and the SMG LifeTeen choir sang, including a very moving rendition of Sarah Hart’s, “Wonderfully Made.”
“Thank you Saint Maria Goretti parish for hosting the Bishop’s Mass for the Sanctity of Life,” said Glen Jones, one of the 40 Days for Life planning team. “It was wonderful to have so many priests from the Diocese concelebrate the Mass with our Bishop McGrath, affirming the lives of the unborn. Also, a special thanks goes out to the Knights of Columbus for providing a color guard escort for the Bishop. We invite all San Jose Diocese parishioners to join our 40 Days Fall Campaign fasting and beseeching Our Lord and his Mother to protect all human life.”
The 40 Days for Life community-based campaign takes a determined, peaceful approach to showing local communities the consequences of abortion in their own neighborhoods, for their own friends and families. It puts into action a desire to cooperate with God in carrying out His plan for the end of abortion. It draws attention to the evil of abortion through the use of community prayer and fasting, constant vigil and community outreach.
“Each campaign lasts 40 days, on purpose. Forty days is a significant time for purification and transformation. It echoes biblical events like the 40 days of the flood, or Moses’ 40 days on the mountain, or Jesus Christ’s 40 days’ fasting in the desert,” said Rilene Simpson. “During this time we are given the chance to make a difference in the lives of our most vulnerable: unborn children, and their moms and dads.”
The 40 Days for Life campaign runs through November 5, at two Planned Parenthood locations: 1691 The Alameda, San Jose and 225 San Antonio Road, Mountain View. Volunteers are needed at both sites to pray and be a witness for life. People can sign up at www.40daysforlife.com/sanjose or www.40daysforlife.com/mountainview, where you will also find more information about 40 Days for Life. Campaign leaders can be reached at (408) 800-5498 or firstname.lastname@example.org.