What Does Sanctity Really Mean?

by Ed Harpring

As Sanctity of Life Month and the commemoration of the notorious Roe v. Wade decision approaches, I wanted to highlight some of the remarks in a recent talk given by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput at the Pennsylvania Pro-life Federation Dinner in Harrisburg, Pa., on Sept. 29, 2016. The Archbishop’s inspirational talk is especially befitting now because it articulates the vision, the hope and the increasing momentum of the Pro-Life Movement as we enter the New Year.


The Archbishop set the stage by confirming the current climate of our society that perpetuates false narratives and euphemisms to cover up the real truth and tragedy of abortion:

Seventy years ago, abortion was a crime against humanity.  Four decades ago, abortion supporters talked piously about the “tragedy” of abortion and the need to make it safe and rare…Not anymore. Now abortion is not just a so-called “right,” but a right that claims positive dignity, the license to demonize its opponents and the precedence to interfere with constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech, assembly and religion.

The Archbishop then spoke about the virtue of hope as a necessity for Catholics who affirm the dignity of Life.

We have every reason to hope… Hope is the grace to trust that God is who he claims to be, and that in serving him, we do something fertile and precious for the renewal of the world.

Our lives matter not because of who we are.  They matter because of who God is…And we become more truly human ourselves by seeing the humanity in the poor, the weak, the elderly and the unborn child — and then fighting for it…no law and no political lobby can ever change the truth about when human life begins and the sanctity that God attaches to each and every human person, born or unborn.

At the conclusion of his talk, Archbishop Chaput emphasized the need to be willing to sacrifice for the greater good, to remain steadfast, and ultimately, with God’s grace, the culture of Life will prevail.

As I was gathering my thoughts for tonight, a line from Psalm 89 came back to me again and again: [Lord,] make us know the shortness of our life that we may gain wisdom of heart.  The time we have in this world is brief.  The choices we make have real substance – precisely because we come this way in life only once, and the world will be better or worse for our passing.

Our real task, and our much longer-term and more important goal, is to carry out what the late Pope John Paul II called the “evangelization of culture.”

We need to work to change the culture. And that demands a lifelong commitment to education, formation and, ultimately, conversion. Only genuinely holy persons really change the world. And therein lies our ultimate victory: If we change one heart at a time, while we save one unborn life at a time, the day will come when we won’t need to worry about saving babies, because they’ll be surrounded by a loving and welcoming culture.

So no matter how tired you get, no matter how hard the work becomes, no matter who praises you or who condemns you, the only thing that finally matters is this:  God is good; he never abandons his people. The text of Archbishop Chaput’s entire speech  can be found HERE.

 In the Archdiocese of Louisville, there are several Pro-Life events planned:

Helpers of God’s Precious Infants Mass – Archbishop Kurtz – Celebrant Sat, Jan 14th, 7:00 a.m. Cathedral of the Assumption
– 7:00 a.m. Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
– 8:15 a.m. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
– Rosary procession to local abortion facility
– 9:00 a.m. Return to Cathedral for Benediction

Pro-Life Memorial Mass – Archbishop Kurtz – Celebrant
Sun, Jan 22, 3:00 p.m. – St. Martin of Tours

More than 150 parishes, schools and organizations come together annually to witness to the sanctity of human life sponsored by The Knights of Columbus. The Pro-Life Mass is dedicated to the protection of the unborn and to lift our hearts to the Lord to help change the hearts of our country from a culture of death to a culture that celebrates Life and defends all lives from conception to natural death. Parishes are encouraged to have a representative that will be given a “Rose for Life” during the liturgy. The Ambassadors for Life will be represented and receive a rose for our new organization.

Walk for Life – Louisville Youth and Families
Fri, Jan 27, 4:30 p.m. – Cathedral of the Assumption

Come along on the 2017 Walk for Life in downtown Louisville in solidarity with the National March for Life in Washington, DC! Meet at the Cathedral of the Assumption Undercroft (basement) on Friday, Jan 27, at 4:30 p.m. Our 1.5-mile prayer walk begins at 5:00 p.m. Depending on the size and speed of the group, the walk usually takes about 1.5 – 2 hours, ending at the Cathedral. Individuals, youth ministries, school groups, and families are welcome! Hope to see you there!

March for Life – Pilgrimage – Washington, DC – January 25 – January 27(Adults and Youth Groups are welcome.)

Wed, Jan. 25 – depart early morning and arrive in Washington DC
Thurs, Jan. 26 – 9:00 a.m. – March for Life Expo – Pro-Life Exhibitors
2:00 – 2:30 p.m. – Holocaust Museum, Survivor Speaker & Museum Tour
5:30 p.m. – Basilica – National Pro-Life Vigil Mass
Fri, Jan. 27 – 8:30 a.m. – Youth Rally & Mass for Life –Verizon Center
12 noon – March for Life Rally
4:00 p.m. – Buses depart for Kentucky
Sat, Jan. 28 – 6:00 a.m. – Buses arrive in Kentucky

Contact Kentucky Right to Life for more information 502-895-5959.



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