March for Life and Post Abortion Healing
“Make sure that you always remain as joyful disciples of the Lord and joyful witnesses to the Gospel of Life.”
Bishop Peter J. Jugis spoke these encouraging words as he addressed the hundreds of faithful North Carolinians present at the North Carolina Mass for the Unborn on Friday, January 27th, 2017.
This year, the National March for Life in Washington, D.C., took place on the last Friday of January. Pro-life advocates from across the country marched together up Constitution Avenue toward the Capitol Building to advocate for the unborn in a peaceful demonstration. Attendance at this year’s March for Life is said to be the highest it has ever been. Vice President Mike Pence and Kellyanne Conway, Senior Counselor to President Trump, both spoke at the rally preceding the march.
Before congregating at the National Mall with fellow Americans, the faithful North Carolinian pilgrims gathered at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for the North Carolina Mass for the Unborn celebrated by Bishop J. Jugis of the Diocese of Charlotte. Many priests of both the Diocese of Charlotte and the Diocese of Raleigh joined him.
Bishop Jugis provided a beautiful homily at this Mass. He reminded us “It is the Lord’s love ultimately which conquers the evil of abortion.” He went on to commend the work we all do for the rights of the unborn saying “Christ is alive. Christ who comes to be with us always is here, and we must keep our attention always fixed on Him because it is He whom we are serving for the sanctity of human life.” We were reminded that it is important to keep our work for the unborn Christ centered.
Bishop Jugis placed much emphasis on the power of the Eucharist and the strength it provides us in our fight for Life.” You have come to the best place possible to help you in your work for the unborn- and that is the Holy Mass. Do not underestimate the power of the Eucharist.” He went on to say, “Yes, we draw our strength and our inspiration from Jesus; and our strength from the Holy Eucharist in adoration and in Holy Communion. Never underestimate the power of the Holy Eucharist in all of your work on behalf of the unborn to bring about change. It is Jesus’ work.”
It was truly humbling to be reminded that all the work we do for Life can only be done if we remain one with Christ. Only He can help us succeed in our fight for the sanctity of human life. We must always be in the presence of Christ.
There has always been a strong presence of women [and men] who are living witnesses to the negative effects of abortion. Many personal testimonies, post–abortion support groups and organizations advocate against abortion with first hand knowledge of the destruction it causes. They use rallies, prayers, and personal testimonies to advocate for an end to abortion at themarch for life.
The overwhelming necessity of healing that must occur following involvement with abortion is something that needs to be broadcasted. Many dioceses offer post abortion support, healing, and retreats. I would like to remind everyone, particularly in the diocese of Charlotte, of the Rachel’s Vineyard Post-Abortion Retreats we offer in our diocese and those available in surrounding dioceses.
Rachel’s Vineyard is a safe retreat environment that can help those suffering from loss and after effects of abortion to find support and healing. The weekend retreats are confidential and conducted in a safe, peaceful and non-judgmental environment. Participating in one of these retreats can help an individual finally find healing and understand the fullness of God’s love and mercy.
Please keep this ministry in mind as you go about your daily lives and come across others who may benefit from post-abortion healing. The dates and information about these retreats can always be found at ccdoc.org/respectlife. You can always refer someone directly to our diocesan contacts for Rachel’s Vineyard as well, also found on our website.
It’s essential for all of us to be visible public witnesses to the sanctity of human life. We must continue to tell our society that legalized abortion is unjust – a grave injustice to the little ones…Constantly place this issue before the conscience of our society in every way possible. Continue to ask questions. Continue to strive to speak to the conscience of our society. – Bishop Peter J. Jugis
By: Jessica Grabowski, Respect Life Program Director