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Letter | Day of Prayer for Unborn Life

Bishop Bonar Crosier - Top

Note: This letter is published below in both English and Spanish.

ENGLISH

January 10, 2022

Dear Reverend Clergy, Religious, Seminarians, Staff and Faithful of the Diocese of Youngstown,

On January 22, 2022, the Church in the United States observes a Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children.  In the Collect at Holy Mass for this special day we find these words, “God our Creator, we give thanks to you, who alone have the power to impart the breath of life as you form each of us in our mother’s womb; grant we pray, that we whom you have made stewards of creation, may remain faithful to this sacred trust and constant in safeguarding the dignity of every human life.”

Indeed, God alone engenders the gift of life.  As a Church we steadfastly believe that this life begins in the mother’s womb at conception and therefore is sacred.   As Catholics it is incumbent for all of us to protect and defend this life and to pray daily for an end to abortion.  There is no justifiable reason or cause for an abortion.  And yet, every year, thousands of lives are aborted in our country.  We cannot afford to be selective or dismissive about this sacred gift of life that comes from God.

I invite you to join me to pray for an end to abortion and a greater appreciation of life from conception to natural death.  This year, I am celebrating two diocesan Masses for Life: on Tuesday, January 18, at 6:30pm in the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Chapel of Walsh University in North Canton, and on Sunday, January 23, at 4:00pm in Saint Columba Cathedral.  If you are or were unable to attend these Masses, I ask that you designate a day to attend Mass to pray for life and an end to abortion.

As the Collect for the special Mass intimates, we also have a responsibility to safeguard and protect the dignity of every human life.  In this time of pandemic, it is imperative that we all do our part to protect one another by becoming vaccinated.  Consistent with previous teaching of the Church, Vatican authorities have examined the moral implications of the available vaccines and have determined that they are not only permissible to use, but also an act of moral responsibility. Pope Francis has stated that getting vaccinated is “an act of charity for the common good.”  Seeking the proper vaccinations is not a political statement but the responsible, Catholic, and just thing to do for the good of all.  To those who remain unvaccinated, I beg you as your spiritual father to become vaccinated as soon as possible as an act of charity for the common good.  As we sing in the old song, “They will know we are Christians by our love.”  We must never grow weary of loving one another and promoting life.

Be assured of a remembrance in my prayers, and please pray for me.  Together, let us pray, for an end to abortion, a greater appreciation of life and of one another, and “That all may be one.”

 

Sincerely in Christ,

Most Reverend David J. Bonnar
Bishop of Youngstown

SPANISH

Enero 10, 2022

Estimado Reverendo Clero, Religiosos, Seminaristas, Personal y Fieles de la Diócesis de Youngstown,

 

El 22 de enero de 2022, la Iglesia de los Estados Unidos de América observa el Día de Oración por la Protección Legal del Niño en Gestación.  En la colecta durante la Sagrada Misa para este día especial encontramos estas palabras, “Dios nuestro Creador, te damos las gracias, Tú eres el único que tiene el poder de dar el aliento de vida mientras nos formas a cada uno de nosotros en el vientre de nuestra madre; concédenos, te rogamos, que nosotros, a quienes has hecho vigilantes de la creación, permanezcamos fieles a esta tarea sagrada y seamos constantes resguardando la dignidad de cada vida humana.”

 

Efectivamente, solamente Dios engendra el don de vida.  Como Iglesia creemos firmemente que esta vida comienza en el vientre de la madre al momento de la concepción y por ello es sagrada.  Como católicos nos incumbe la protección y defensa de esta vida y oramos cada día por el fin del aborto. No hay razón o causa justificada para un aborto.  Sin embargo, cada año, miles de vidas son abortadas en nuestro país.  No Podemos darnos el lujo de ser selectivos o displicentes con este don sagrado de la vida que viene de Dios.

 

Los invito a unirse a mí en oración por el fin del aborto y por un mayor aprecio de la vida desde la concepción hasta la muerte natural.  Este año voy a celebrar dos Misas Diocesanas por la Vida: el martes 18 de enero a las 6:30 p.m. en la capilla de Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro (Our Lady of Perpetual Help) de la Universidad Walsh en North Canton, y el domingo 23 de enero a las 4:00 p.m. en la Catedral Santa Columba.  Si no puede o pudo asistir a estas misas, le pido que designe un día para asistir a misa para orar por la vida y el fin del aborto.

 

Como sugiere la colecta de la misa especial, nosotros también tenenos la responsabilidad de salvaguardar y proteger la dignidad de cada vida humana. En estos tiempos de pandemia es imperativo que todos hagamos nuestra parte para protegernos los unos a los otros vacunándonos.  De acuerdo con las enseñanzas anteriores de la Iglesia, las autoridades del Vaticano han examinado las implicaciones morales de las vacunas disponibles y han determinado que no solo se permite su uso, sino que también es un acto de responsabilidad moral.

 

El Papa Francisco ha afirmado que vacunarse es “un acto de caridad por el bien común.”  Buscar las vacunas adecuadas no es un acto político sino lo responsable, católico, y justo para el bien de todos.  Para aquellos que permanecen sin vacunarse, les suplico como su padre espiritual que se vacunen lo antes posible como un acto de caridad por el bien común.  Como cantamos en la antigua canción, “Sabrán que somos cristianos por nuestro amor.” Nunca debemos cansarnos de amarnos unos a otros y promover la vida.

 

Tengan las seguridad de que los recuerdo en mis oraciones, y por favor oren por mí.  Juntos, oremos por el fin del aborto, un mayor aprecio de la vida y por los demás, y “Que todos sean uno.”

 


Sinceramente en Cristo,

Reverendísimo David J. Bonnar
Obispo de Youngstown                        

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