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Catholic News Herald

Serving Christ and Connecting Catholics in Western North Carolina

N.C. Mass for Life held Jan. 19 prior to March for Life in D.C.

011918 march nc massWASHINGTON, D.C. — The brutal reality of 60 million lives lost to abortion since the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion gave way to hope in the nation’s capital today as hundreds of thousands of marchers took the streets to spread the message that “Love Saves Lives” in the 45th annual March for Life.

People of the Diocese of Charlotte and the Diocese of Raleigh gathered at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for the annual North Carolina Mass for Life prior to boarding their buses to drive down to the National Mall to participate in the March for Life.

Father John Putnam, pastor of St. Mark Church in Huntersville and judicial vicar for the Charlotte diocese, served as principal celebrant and homilist. He was assisted by priests of both North Carolina dioceses.

“When I was asked to fill in for the bishop, I began to ask myself a simple question: ‘Why do we march? Why do we come here?’”

In his homily, Father Putnam touched on the successes and challenges the pro-life movement has had over the past year. He cited the  Trump Administration’s appointment of pro-life judges and government offices, the restoration and expansion of the so-called "Mexico City policy" restricting abortion funds to other places, and the defunding of the United Nations Population Fund – some $9 billion which gave resources to provide abortions worldwide.

He applauded the work of David Deleiden and the Center for Medical Progress, who exposed Planned Parenthood’s selling of unborn infant body parts and showed the horrors of the commercial abortion industry. He also mentioned the new movie being created by Dr. Alveda King which will showcase what really happened leading up to the Roe v. Wade decision.

“But as we all know, the darkness still remains,” Father Putnam continued. “This past year also saw state laws being implemented to protect abortion and fostering a culture of death. There are continued efforts to undermine marriage, family and our basic understanding of the human person. What seems to be happening, for most of us who are aware, is a growing hostility to the Gospel.”

He cited examples of many marches this past year that were not peaceful, but violent. There is also the threat of nuclear war.

“It’s a sad reality, but in the midst of the darkness we can always see some light,” Father Putnam observed.

“So why do we march? We march because we can. We march because we must. We march because the love of Christ impels us to do so, to stand up for the truth – the good and the beautiful, to defend the defenseless, to give voice to the voiceless, and to share that love which has been shown to us in Christ Jesus Our Lord.”

The battle to end abortion will not be won on a political front alone, he emphasized. We are contending against principalities and powers, he said, which Jesus fought throughout His earthly ministry.

“We march so we that we can pray, so that we can give witness to the joy of the Gospel. So that we can share the freedom which belongs to the children of God.

“We march so we can exercise our rights as citizens, so we can make our voices heard in the offices of governmental power."

Father Putnam also reminded those gathered that we march in order to grow in holiness – to show forth the presence of Christ in each person and to demonstrate the fact that Christ loves each one of us and willingly gave His life for each one of us.

At the conclusion of his homily he encouraged the faithful to “use the greatest weapon we have – the weapon of love – to change hearts and to bring conversion.”

— SueAnn Howell, senior reporter. Photos by SueAnn Howell, Catholic News Herald.

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N.C. Mass for Life held Jan. 19 prior to March for Life in D.C.

011918 march nc massWASHINGTON, D.C. — The brutal reality of 60 million lives lost to abortion since the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion gave way to hope in the nation’s capital today as hundreds of thousands of marchers took the streets to spread the message that “Love Saves Lives” in the 45th annual March for Life.

People of the Diocese of Charlotte and the Diocese of Raleigh gathered at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for the annual North Carolina Mass for Life prior to boarding their buses to drive down to the National Mall to participate in the March for Life.

Father John Putnam, pastor of St. Mark Church in Huntersville and judicial vicar for the Charlotte diocese, served as principal celebrant and homilist. He was assisted by priests of both North Carolina dioceses.

“When I was asked to fill in for the bishop, I began to ask myself a simple question: ‘Why do we march? Why do we come here?’”

In his homily, Father Putnam touched on the successes and challenges the pro-life movement has had over the past year. He cited the  Trump Administration’s appointment of pro-life judges and government offices, the restoration and expansion of the so-called "Mexico City policy" restricting abortion funds to other places, and the defunding of the United Nations Population Fund – some $9 billion which gave resources to provide abortions worldwide.

He applauded the work of David Deleiden and the Center for Medical Progress, who exposed Planned Parenthood’s selling of unborn infant body parts and showed the horrors of the commercial abortion industry. He also mentioned the new movie being created by Dr. Alveda King which will showcase what really happened leading up to the Roe v. Wade decision.

“But as we all know, the darkness still remains,” Father Putnam continued. “This past year also saw state laws being implemented to protect abortion and fostering a culture of death. There are continued efforts to undermine marriage, family and our basic understanding of the human person. What seems to be happening, for most of us who are aware, is a growing hostility to the Gospel.”

He cited examples of many marches this past year that were not peaceful, but violent. There is also the threat of nuclear war.

“It’s a sad reality, but in the midst of the darkness we can always see some light,” Father Putnam observed.

“So why do we march? We march because we can. We march because we must. We march because the love of Christ impels us to do so, to stand up for the truth – the good and the beautiful, to defend the defenseless, to give voice to the voiceless, and to share that love which has been shown to us in Christ Jesus Our Lord.”

The battle to end abortion will not be won on a political front alone, he emphasized. We are contending against principalities and powers, he said, which Jesus fought throughout His earthly ministry.

“We march so we that we can pray, so that we can give witness to the joy of the Gospel. So that we can share the freedom which belongs to the children of God.

“We march so we can exercise our rights as citizens, so we can make our voices heard in the offices of governmental power."

Father Putnam also reminded those gathered that we march in order to grow in holiness – to show forth the presence of Christ in each person and to demonstrate the fact that Christ loves each one of us and willingly gave His life for each one of us.

At the conclusion of his homily he encouraged the faithful to “use the greatest weapon we have – the weapon of love – to change hearts and to bring conversion.”

— SueAnn Howell, senior reporter. Photos by SueAnn Howell, Catholic News Herald.

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Youth a driving force of March for Life

Youth a driving force of March for Life

020218 youth marchYouth from St. Mark Church in Huntersville and around the Diocese of Charlotte march up Constitution Avenue in Washington, D.C., Jan. 19 during the 45th Annual March for Life. (SueAnn Howell | Catholic News Herald)WASHINGTON, D.C. — Tens of thousands of youth and young adults traveled hundreds – some even thousands – of miles to raise their voices in support of the sanctity of all human life for the national March for Life Jan. 19.

This year’s theme, “Love Saves Lives,” encouraged people to look at what love can do by saying “yes” to life, saving the life of an innocent human being.

Youth and young adults from around the Diocese of Charlotte traveled to this year’s March for Life and some shared their reasons for making the journey.

“This year was my first March for Life experience and I loved it!” said Margaret Dechant, a young adult who helped lead a group from St. Patrick Cathedral in Charlotte. “It was incredibly encouraging to be surrounded by others also passionate about protecting life.”

Dechant said it was important for her to lead a group of young adults to the march because “it gave us an opportunity to be witnesses to our beliefs and grow in our faith and community with each other. It was a time for us to give a voice to the voiceless and support pro-life legislation.”

“I hope those who participated in the March for Life were inspired and uplifted by the joy of living the Gospel and proclaiming the message #lovesaveslives (this year’s March for Life theme) together,” she said.

Peter Dodge, 18, of St. Mary, Mother of God Church in Sylva, came with a group of 41 people from his parish.

“Abortion is wrong. You should never kill anyone, especially the unborn and those who cannot fight for themselves,” he said. “I am here mainly for that, to show there is something else you can do, other than abortion.”

His sister Mary, 17, agreed. “We wanted to come to share what we believe. It’s good to save lives. It is not right to kill anyone.”

“It’s incredible to see all of these people gathered here for one cause,” said Hannah Webster, a senior at Charlotte Catholic High School in Charlotte, on her first time coming to the march. “You don’t see this many people who are pro-life all the time.

“It’s important to stand up for the rights of the unborn. You have to respect everyone’s life from the moment they are conceived. They have a soul. We can’t, for our own sake, just get rid of them.”

“My favorite part (of the march) was getting to the top of the hill, looking back, and seeing thousands of people proudly walking behind me... it seemed like the sea of people would never end!” she said. “I was so proud in the moment to be a part of the March for Life and I know that even if it takes another 45 years, abortion will be unthinkable someday.”

Carson Cannon, a sophomore at Charlotte Catholic High School, said he really wanted to come to the march “because of all of the wonderful opportunities we have to stand up for what we believe and exercise our First Amendment rights to peacefully protest the unjust, and what should be unlawful, murder of so many children who have been objectified so terribly.”

Rebekah Martinez, 14, of St. Mark Church in Huntersville, sings pro-life music with the D3 Foundation and came to the March for Life to help share their music.

“It’s important to me, singing music to promote life. It is so much better to gently tell them, to tell them by singing. It’s such a worthy cause.”

“Supporting life is an amazing thing,” Martinez said. “The music goes to so many people. It can change the person right next to you. They could have an interesting story you don’t know about. You can have an impact on them.”

Zoe Griffin, 17, of St. Patrick Cathedral in Charlotte, shared her reason for attending.
“It’s important to come to the March for Life because this is a really big platform,” she said. “It’s good to have our voices heard and to have such a huge amount of young people have their voices heard by the world. I am happy to be a part of it.”
— SueAnn Howell, Senior reporter

More scenes from the March for Life

More scenes from the March for Life

 

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