Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M. has shared his annual Respect Life message with the Diocese of Trenton, reminding the faithful that “nothing is more fundamental” than the right to life:
There is one thing we all have in common. Regardless of our race or place of natural origin; regardless of our religion or absence of it; regardless of our age or status or station in life: God gave us the gift of life, which our mothers carried until the day of our birth. We were allowed to live!
Every human being who has ever walked the face of this earth shares that one thing in common. And from the moment of our conception until the day of our natural death, we celebrate with gratitude our God-given right to life. Nothing is more fundamental and more precious than that one human right. …
In Jesus’ name, we pray as we prepare to go on our March for Life; we pray for the most vulnerable at the beginning of human life and for the legal protection of the unborn. We cannot surrender to the “culture of death.” Together, we march for life!
In addition to his annual message, Bishop O’Connell also served as the main celebrant at a Respect Life Mass Jan. 22 in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton, which marked the 47th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion in the United States. The Mass was a time of prayer for the protection of the unborn and a witness to the sanctity of human life.
Msgr. Joseph Roldan, Cathedral rector and homilist for the Mass, reminded those in attendance that they were united under the patroness of the Blessed Mother, Mary.
“Who better than her to be with us now and at the hour of our death and of those unborn?”
Afterward, some of the Mass-goers were able to walk to the New Jersey State House Annex, where they joined the pro-life community from throughout the state for a peaceful and prayerful demonstration and talks by pro-life leaders.
On behalf of the clergy, religious and faithful of the Diocese of Trenton, I extend congratulations and prayerful best wishes to Archbishop-elect Nelson Perez, the newly appointed 10th Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Welcome home! May the Lord give you every grace and blessing in the years ahead as you shepherd the Church of Philadelphia.
Also, I offer our congratulations and thanks to retiring Archbishop Charles Chaput, OFM Cap., for his almost nine years of dedicated service and faithful commitment to the Church. May you have good health, joy and peace in your retirement.