The diocesan observance of the 45th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion will be held on Saturday, Jan. 13, at 5 p.m. at St. Bernadette Parish, 5930 S. Abbott Road, Orchard Park. Bishop Richard J. Malone, bishop of Buffalo, will be the main celebrant.
During the Mass, Cheryl Calire, director of the diocesan Office of Pro-Life Activities will present the 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 Molitor, coordinator of the Mother Teresa Home
Catholic Women of Buffalo - Amy Blair, Annie Esposito, Valerie Zafuto
Siobhan O'Connor, executive assistant to Bishop Malone
Deacon Steve and Mary Schumer, clergy at the Mother Teresa Home
Aimee Gomlak, Catholic Health
James Grubka, Knights of Columbus
Catholics are also encouraged to participate in a solemn observance of the Roe v. Wade anniversary by placing a candle (electric, wax or battery-operated) in their window at sundown on the evening of Monday, Jan. 22. This gesture will serve as a reminder of the 50 million unborn babies who have been aborted since the 1973 Supreme Court decision.
The anniversary of Roe v. Wade also will be marked by a contingent of Catholics joining the Office of Pro-Life Activities on a pilgrimage for life to Washington, D.C. The group will pray peacefully and publicly intercede on behalf of the unborn, their parents, families, communities, nation and its leaders.
Buses will depart for the March for Life from several locations on the morning of Thursday, Jan. 18, and will return to the Buffalo area on Friday, Jan. 19. A Mass will be celebrated at 8 a.m. on Jan. 19 at the Washington Plaza Hotel followed by a breakfast featuring guest speakers Lauren Muzyka, executive director, and Bethany Mistretta, national program manager, from Sidewalk Advocates for Life, national group that promotes life-affirming alternatives and options for unplanned pregnancies. Bishop Malone will concelebrate Mass at 10 a.m. with other bishops from throughout the country who will gather at the youth Rally at the Verizon Center.
For more information about any of the events recognizing the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade case, contact the Office of Pro-Life Activities at 847-2205.