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Events demonstrate support for life throughout month

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BOSTON — Whether travelling to Washington, D.C., to downtown Boston or even a local parish, ways abound to support life as the 32nd anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Roe vs. Wade decision approaches.

Marianne Luthin, director of the archdiocesan Pro-Life Office, expects hundreds of people to commemorate the anniversary in the Archdiocese of Boston.

"I wish to express my deep gratitude to all those who have, or will, participate in the various events -- in public witness in Washington or in individual parishes running baby showers," she said. "With their involvement, countless numbers of women will be helped."

Beginning this week, dozens of parishes will be holding “Baby Showers for the Unborn,” a program through which parishes collect baby items which are distributed to crisis pregnancy centers through the Pro-Life Office.

In addition to parish-based “baby showers,” the Catholic Daughters of the Americas (CDA) conducted three baby showers of their own to benefit the unborn. In the Archdiocese of Boston, members of the CDA are organized into divisions known as courts. Three of these courts — the Our Lady of Knock Court in Needham, the James F. Stanton Court in Hyde Park and the Our Lady of the Presentation Court in Brighton — held baby showers this past week.

"The Catholic Daughters have always been very generous," said CDA State Pro-life Chairwoman Eleanor Sennott, "donating items for newborns and helping with financial contributions as well."

According to Luthin, the CDA are the “largest single donor to Pregnancy Help and the Fund for the Unborn, a fund to help women considering abortion due to financial troubles.”

"Their contributions help hundreds of women," underscored Luthin.

Another event scheduled to promote life is the Massachusetts Citizens for Life’s 32nd Annual Interfaith Assembly for Life, which will be held on Jan 16 at the Great Hall in Faneuil Hall in Boston. The Interfaith Assembly for Life is a “gathering of religious leaders and political representatives to commemorate the anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton Supreme Court decisions that have resulted in the death of over 45 million unborn babies in the United States,” according to the Massachusetts Citizens for Life Web site.

This year’s keynote address will be delivered by Rev. Clenard H. Childress Jr., pastor of New Calvary Baptist Church and national director of Life Education & Resource Network Inc., the largest African-American, evangelical pro-life ministry in the country.

January pro-life commemorations culminate with the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., which this year will take place on Monday, Jan. 24.

Several busses will be departing for the march from the Boston area Luthin said. In particular, Luthin noted that the Boston University Catholic Center will not only be participating in the march, but will also be celebrating a special Mass at the Boston University Marsh Chapel before departing for Washington.

According to Luthin, this year Archbishop Seán P. O’Malley “has requested that there be a larger youth presence” in the march. Responding to the archbishop’s request, students from various Catholic high schools in the area will be sending delegations to the March for Life.

One such school is Mal-den Catholic High School in Malden. According to principal Brother Thomas Puccio, CFX, nine students together with four faculty members will be making the journey to Washington, D.C.

"We regularly have had students attend the Respect Life Walk to Aid Mothers and Children in Boston, but this is the first time a group will attend the March for Life in Washington, D.C.," he said.

"These are a very committed group," said Brother Puccio. "[They] are looking forward to joining with others to support life."

In addition to participating in the march, these youth will attend the Vigil for Life at the Basilica Shrine of the Immaculate Conception the evening before, Luthin said. Archbishop O’Malley will celebrate a special Mass with them at the Franciscan Monastery in Washington, D.C. the morning of the march.

For more information on any of the January pro-life events, contact Pro-Life Office at 508-651-1900.

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