Respect Life Mass held at Cathedral
January 13, 2018

Archbishop BlairOn January 13th a faithful group of those committed to the mission of the pro-life movement and to praying for the protection of and respect for human life gathered at St. Joseph Cathedral in Hartford to celebrate Mass together.

Archbishop Blair presided at the Mass and gave the homily which was rousing and insightful. “Christianity has always been foolish,” he remarked. God’s ways are not our ways, and in the eyes of the world and according to human thinking, God’s plans can seem illogical and that they will likely fail. As we have seen through the witness of the saints, those who radically embrace the Gospel confound the ways of the world and make a difference. Those who try to tame the Gospel, to manipulate it so that it fits more easily in their schedules are not those that leave a lasting impact or make the world a better place for future generations. Those who change the world are those who say yes to God’s plan and will for life.

In reflecting on the first reading, Archbishop Blair commented that the Israelites asked for a king so that they could be like other nations. They wanted to “fit in.” Saul, the most “fitting” for the position was chosen and he turned out to be a disaster of a king. God chose David – a ruddy youth who would not seem to know anything about ruling a nation and who did not have the appearance of a leader. Yet once again, the “foolishness” of God brings life to his chosen people. The Gospel for the day told the story of the call of Matthew, the tax collector. Matthew was at his post when Jesus looked at him and called him. Jesus saw Matthew as he was and who Matthew could become, his potential. Matthew was looked upon with mercy and called to sainthood. Who but God would have known that a man extorting his fellow people would go on to write the first Gospel and be martyred for the Faith?

We are called to live in the world yet not be of the world. Archbishop Blair commented that we do have to be in tune with what is going on around us. We live in a country with a robust legal system and we are to abide by it in the fight for life; yet, our trust and reliance is in and on God alone. The Gospel demands that we proclaim the goodness and beauty of life. Christ came that we might have an abundance of everlasting life and it is His love that urges us on.

He delivered a famous quote of Mother Teresa of Calcutta:

“People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway. If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway. What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway. Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway. In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”
And so we go forward in our efforts to defend the right to life and to uphold its dignity with the sure faith that God is on our side, that goodness prevails, and that love conquers all.

Father Jim SullivanFollowing Mass, the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants provided delightful refreshments. Four speakers then presented. Fr. Jim Sullivan of the Church of the Assumption in Ansonia gave a motivational talk on the importance of prayer, especially in the context of family. It was the witness of his father’s devotion to the Mass and the Faith that awakened Fr. Sullivan’s own vocation to the priesthood. His father grew up in Ireland where they would take horse and buggy to Mass every Sunday no matter the weather. Passing through the streets of town, they heard families praying the Rosary together. He commented on what has become a common phrase, “I’m spiritual, not religious.” In essence, what they are saying is that they recognize there is more to their being than the physical matter of their lives. They are in touch with the fact that they have an immortal soul and are called to something beyond this world, yet they are detached from it. We have the gift of the Church and our faith which teaches us how to live as whole persons, body and soul. We have been shown the path that leads to eternal, abundant life through the sacraments and teachings of the Church.

Fr. Sullivan noted that many people do not pray nowadays; other things have taken its place – comfort, sports, distractions, and “busy-ness.” Prayer rejuvenates the soul and without it, we wither. In failing to pray, one can lose sight of what is important and even the purpose of one’s life, or any life for that matter. Abortion has made its way into the picture and is a gross disrespect and lack of understanding of the gift of life and the person. Abortion can appear to offer “freedom” in that one is no longer responsible for the child and the worry will disappear. Through the testimonies of those who have experienced this atrocity, we know very well that the pain of abortion is experienced every day. Prayer connects us to God and in knowing Him, we are given a deeper understanding of the beauty of life. So we must continue to pray and to hope always. “God is alive and He desires life.”

Anne Boers Marie Laffin S Catherine Mary

Anne Boers and Sister Suzanne Gross, FSE

Marie Laffin

Sister Catherine Mary Clarke, FSE

The following speakers were Anne Boers, Coordinator of the 40 Days for Life; Marie Laffin, Site Leader and Facilitator of Rachel’s Vineyard Retreats; and Sister Catherine Mary Clarke, F.S.E., Board Member of Carolyn’s Place. Each gave a brief presentation on their ministries. Anne Boers encouraged people to participate in the 40 Days for Life Campaign, to recommit themselves to its mission, and to personally invite others to pray for an end to abortion. We can make excuses to not go, but ultimately we resolve to go and pray, to be a public witness because people need to know that life is worth fighting for. Marie Laffin shared about the compassion and healing available at the Rachel’s Vineyard Retreats. People who have experienced abortion suffer greatly and do not need condemnation but mercy and understanding. At Rachel’s Vineyard, they are accompanied to that place of healing. Sister Catherine Mary Clarke, F.S.E. spoke to the importance of crisis pregnancy centers. They need to be available so that people know of options besides abortion. She talked about the beginnings of Carolyn’s Place and how many babies have been born through the assistance of Carolyn’s Place because one mother said yes to life despite her fears and uncertainty about her own and her baby’s future.


Overall, it was a beautiful morning that left us encouraged and hopeful. We are grateful for the Archbishop’s presence with us as well as all those who have dedicated so much of their time to the efforts of the pro-life movement. Please continue to pray and to proclaim the goodness of the gift of life.

Pro-Life Pro-Life Supporters

Mary Lou Peters and Sister Catherine Mary Clarke, FSE

Pro-Life Supporters enjoy conversation.



Pro-Life Ministry • Archdiocese of Hartford
271 Finch Avenue • Meriden, CT 06451 • 203-639-0833
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