The Annual Benefit for Life Gala was held Friday, October 7, 2011, to support the work of four ministries in the Diocese of Raleigh: BirthChoice, The Gabriel Project, Family Honor and Project Rachel. This year’s gala drew more than 500 people, the largest gathering in the nine years of the event.
In his remarks, the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge expressed his joy that so many in the Diocese are embracing the Gospel of life. “Please accept my sincere, heartfelt gratitude for your support of life and of these very important ministries,” Bishop Burbidge said.
Father Paul D. Scalia, Pastor of St. John the Beloved Church in McLean, Virginia, was this year’s guest speaker. Father Scalia noted how the term “culture of life” was begun by Blessed John Paul II and how the phrase is now part of the public discourse. He spoke of the challenge to life by those who weigh a person’s value by what that person can contribute to the economy.
Father Scalia pointed out that important work is often done in small but effective ways, as witnessed by the four ministries supported by the Benefit for Life Gala. “There was no shock and awe in the incarnation,” Father Scalia said. “It was done quietly. Even the resurrection had no witnesses. And in the celebration of Mass, the Lord comes to us in a small piece of bread. As we recall,” Father Scalia added, “it was St. Therese of the Little Flower who taught us that ‘our littleness can lead to greatness.’”
BirthChoice is celebrating its 39th anniversary this year. It is a medical clinic that offers onsite limited ultrasound to the women who visit for help and guidance. Statistics indicate that five out of six mothers who see their baby in utero decide to have their babies.
The Gabriel Project provides assistance to BirthChoice clients and other agency clients by mentoring moms before and after their child is born.
Family Honor is a national Catholic non-profit organization that offers a family-centered approach to chastity education that is grounded in Scripture, Church teaching and Blessed John Paul II’s Theology of the Body.
Project Rachel is a post-abortive healing ministry that provides confidential assistance to women, men and all who have experienced the pain of abortion.
Above: Father Paul D. Scalia speaking at the Annual Benefit for Life Gala on October 7.
Below: Part of the 500 people attending the Annual Gala to benefit four non-profit pro-life ministries in the Diocese of Raleigh.