Archbishop leads pro-life prayer vigil and procession
|Archbishop Elden Francis Curtiss leads a procession of nearly 500 people from St. Mary Church in Bellevue to the Abortion and Contraception Clinic of Nebraska.|
Photo by Lisa Schulte
By Lisa Schulte
The Catholic Voice
St. Mary Church in Bellevue was filled to capacity Sept. 10 as nearly 500 people gathered to pray for an end to abortion at the seventh annual pro-life prayer vigil.
Archbishop Elden Francis Curtiss presided at the 8 a.m. Mass with 12 priests concelebrating, including Father Peter West, a member of Priests for Life.
After Mass and exposition of the Eucharist, Archbishop Curtiss led a procession three blocks to the Abortion and Contraception Clinic of Nebraska. During the walk, the crowd prayed 15 decades of the rosary.
Benediction followed back at the church and a reception was held.
'We in the pro-life movement are committed to protecting the life of the mother, certainly, and the life of the pre-born baby, surely, because both lives are precious to God," Archbishop Curtiss said in his homily. 'As Christians we must continue to provide viable alternatives to abortion for women who find themselves in unwanted pregnancies."
Despite the fact that millions of babies have been aborted in the United States since the U.S. Supreme Court's legalization of abortion in 1973, more Americans are becoming convinced that human life begins at conception, he said.
'The scientific evidence is convincing," Archbishop Curtiss said.
With two open seats now on the Supreme Court, he said prayer is very important for the pro-life movement at this time in history.
'It is our hope and our prayer today that the ban against partial-birth, late-term abortion will be upheld by the court and passed by Congress."
Our constant prayer and efforts to raise the consciousness of American people regarding the evil of abortion is having an impact, he said.
'We are the prophets of the nation regarding the sacredness of human life," he said. 'Let us keep the pathway with renewed enthusiasm because through the years, we're beginning to win, praise God."
Twenty-six-year-old Aine Gianoli participated in the vigil because she wanted to make a public witness about abortion.
'I always think of it myself as being similar to when the Holocaust was happening," she said. 'Would you just stand there and stay in your home and never make a public witness or would you go out and make a public stand about it?"
Ted Langenfeld, a parishioner at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Omaha, said he participated in the event 'to shower prayers upon those in the clinics, that they have a change of heart so that they will come to realize the evil that they are performing, and then that they will no longer do it."