FOR RELEASE: Immediate DATE SENT: January 11, 2022
MORE INFO: Masses for Life: David Schmidt, Office of Pro-Life, Marriage and Family Life: (330) 744-8451, email@example.com | Bishop’s Letter: Justin Huyck, Media Relations, (330) 744-8451, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Most Reverend David J. Bonnar, Bishop of Youngstown, will celebrate two diocesan Masses for Life in January of 2022, inviting all to pray for a greater respect for human life at every stage and in all circumstances. The first Mass for Life will take place on Tuesday, January 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Chapel at Walsh University, 2020 East Maple Street, North Canton. The second Mass for Life will take place on Sunday, January 23 at 4:00 p.m. at St. Columba Cathedral, 154 West Wood Street, Youngstown.
At each Mass, expectant mothers, fathers, and their families will be invited to receive a blessing for their unborn babies. The “Blessing of a Child in the Womb” was created to encourage prayer and recognition of the precious gift of the child in the womb, and to foster respect for human life within society. For information, contact the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown Office of Pro-Life, Marriage and Family Life at (330) 744-8451.
BACKGROUND AND LETTER FROM BISHOP BONNAR
The Diocese of Youngstown’s Annual Masses for Life occur near the date of January 22, which the Catholic Church in the United States observes as a Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Life. In his 2022 message for this day to the clergy and faithful of the diocese, Bishop Bonnar writes that “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.”
In the same letter, Bishop Bonnar writes, “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.”