Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church
Hot Springs Village, Arkansas
While the numbers attending and participating in the annual March For Life have certainly dropped over the years, my hope is that the number of people praying for an end to abortion and for the legal protection of the unborn has increased - especially on January 22.  That is the day that our United States Bishops have asked us to pray privately and in public, for legal protection of unborn children.

PLEASE join with millions of Catholics in our country to flood heaven on this day for this life-saving cause.  We will pray the patriotic rosary this Monday, January 22 at 8:30 a.m. as this special rosary prays particularly for our elected and appointed officials who make and preserve the laws of our land.  The Mass that follows at 9:00 a.m. is a special Mass for the legal protection of the unborn.  If you cannot join us for the patriotic rosary and/or Mass this Monday, please say a rosary for life on your own (especially in our Perpetual Adoration Chapel if you can) and/or pray the prayer penned by then Pope Benedict XVII, which follows in this pastor's column.

Lord Jesus:  You who faithfully visit and fulfill with your Presence the Church and the history of men;  You who in the miraculous Sacrament of your Body and Blood render us participants in divine Life and allow us a foretaste of the joy of eternal Life;  We adore and bless you.

Prostrated before You, source and lover of Life, truly present and alive among us, we beg you.

Reawaken in us respect for every unborn life, make us capable of seeing in the fruit of the maternal womb the miraculous work of the Creator, open our hearts to generously welcoming every child that comes into life.

Bless all families, sanctify the union of spuses, render fruitful their love.

Accompany the choices of legislative assemblies with the light of your Spirit, so that peoples and nations may recognize and respect the sacred nature of life, of every human life.

Guide the work of scientists and doctors, so that all progress contributes to the integral well-being of the person, and no one endures suppression or injustice.

Give creative charity to administrators and economists, so they may realize and promote sufficient conditions so that young families can serenely embrace the birth of new children.

Console the married couples who suffer because they are unable to have children and in Your goodness provide for them.

Teach us all to care for orphaned or abandoned children, so they may experience the warmth of your Charity, the consolation of your divine Heart.  Together with Mary, Your Mother, the great believer, in whose womb you took on our human nature, we wait to receive from You, our Only True God and Savior, the strength to love and serve life, in anticipation of living forever in You, in communion with the Blessed Trinity.