Catholics Participate in NC Rally for Life
The annual North Carolina Right to Life Rally and March took place Saturday, January 16 at Nash Square in Raleigh, with parishioners from throughout the Diocese attending the event. The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Raleigh, delivered the invocation, thanking God for His most precious gift to us and calling on all men and women to stand in union with God and each other in defense of the sacredness of life.
This Friday, a similar scene on a much larger scale will take place in the nation’s capital. January 22 will mark the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal in the United States. Last year an estimated 300,000 people took part in the Annual March for Life with a similar number expected this year. The marchers will process past Capitol Hill to the steps of the Supreme Court. The march will follow an 11:30 AM Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, celebrated by the Diocese of Raleigh and the Diocese of Charlotte. The Most Reverend Peter J. Jugis of Charlotte will serve as celebrant this year. Bishop Burbidge will concelebrate and serve as homilist. The Mass, known as the North Carolina Mass for Life, has become an annual event on the day of the national march.
Bishop Burbidge’s Invocation:
Almighty God we gather today as members of your holy family to walk together on behalf of your most precious gift to us – of life. We pray that our witness today be an effective message to our elected officials and our entire community of your divine will that all persons must be treated with respect and dignity and that all of life must be welcomed, protected, defended and celebrated at every moment and at every stage. In a special way, we entrust to your care the lives of those who are threatened in the womb of their mothers or the bed of infirmity. We remember those in great need at this very moment, our brothers and sisters in Haiti. As we walk together today, may we always remember it is you who will lead us. In union with God and in solidarity with one another and those in need, may we give voice to the unborn and to the cry of the oppressed and remind our nation of its commitment to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to all people without exception.