Mass for Life in Charlotte honors 'precious and powerful gift of life'
CHARLOTTE — In a time in our country's history when the culture of death appears to have a death grip on the values of life, Catholics and all Christians are called to carry the Good News of the Gospel to God's people in more powerful and direct ways.
Editor's note: To view a slideshow from the March for Life, go online to the Diocese of Charlotte's YouTube channel.
According to Father Hayden Augustine, M.O.P., who served as the main celebrant and homilist at the Mass for Life on Jan. 13 at St. Peter Church in Charlotte, "Jesus is pleased when we go out of our way to go the extra mile" for people.
Pictured: Father Hayden Augustine, from the Missionaries of the Poor, celebrates Mass for the Unborn at St. Peter Church. (Photos by SueAnn Howell, Catholic News Herald)
For the more than 200 people attending the Mass for Life, this message resonated in their hearts as confirmation that praying and marching for an end to abortion and all crimes against the dignity and sanctity of life is an effective way to battle for the right to life for every human being.
During his homily, Father Augustine cited the daily reading from the Gospel of Mark which describes how four men came to the rescue of their friend who needed to be lifted down through the roof to be healed by Jesus. He elaborated how we have to counteract the current culture of death with the values of life that we have learned as Christians.
He challenged those present at Mass to consider the choices we will soon make regarding who will lead our nation.
"What kind of leaders do we want?" he asked. "Do we want those who exploit labor? Those who wrench babies from the womb? Or do we want leaders who inspire us to labor for others...to sacrifice for those who are weak?"
Father Augustine, who helped found the Holy Innocents Center in Jamaica, a home for women who are facing a crisis pregnancy, appealed to the faithful to be like those four men in Mark's Gospel and help our sisters and brothers through difficult times.
"The (M.O.P) Brothers witness to the precious and powerful gift of life," he stated. "They give of themselves. The women come back there rejoicing after the birth of their babies with tears streaming down their faces."
Father Patrick Toole from St. Matthew Church and Father Adrian Porras from St. Barnabas Church in Arden concelebrated the 9 a.m. Mass. Among the parishioners from around the diocese who attended was a group of students from St. Mark School in Huntersville.
"This is our first year," said Kim Antolini, an eighth-grade teacher who helped bring the students to the Mass and March for Life. "We had 28 students come, so we're pleased with that."
In his closing prayer, Father Augustine prayed that we all "come to the rescue of those paralyzed, just like the men in the Gospel, so Jesus can restore them to life."
For more news about the March for Life, click here.
— SueAnn Howell, staff writer
FROM THE PASTORS
Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte:
- Fr. Frank Cancro at Queen of the Apostles
- Fr. Patrick Earl at St. Peter in Charlotte
- Fr. John Eckert at St. John the Baptist in Tryon
- Fr. Timothy Reid at St. Ann in Charlotte
- Fr. Benjamin Roberts at Our Lady of Lourdes in Monroe
- Fr. Patrick Winslow at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Watch full Masses live and on demand, listen to homilies and reflections from Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury
- Listen to homilies from St. William Catholic Church in Murphy