COLORADO SPRINGS. Fear of suffering and a lack of appreciation for the dignity of each human person are two of the driving forces in the culture of death, said Sister of Life Maris Stella, who was the keynote speaker at the Bishop’s Respect Life Dinner on Oct. 24 at The Broadmoor Hotel.
“How often in our lives are we given a difficulty or unexpected suffering that might seem unbearable, when in fact God is inviting us to a greater share in his glory, and therefore our own happiness,” said Sister Maris Stella. “Fear is at the root of abortion and the culture of death. Perfect love casts out all fear. Let’s not strip the cross of its power. Suffering has the potential to open the way for grace in our souls. It becomes the place in our heart where the deepest truth can sink in.”
Sister Maris Stella also talked about the various ways in which the Sisters of Life minister to pregnant and post-abortive women. The order, which was founded by the late Cardinal John O’Connor of New York, not only provides support for pregnant women but also runs Hope and Healing retreats for post-abortive women.
“The women who come to us are heroic witnesses of God’s love and mercy,” said Sister Maris Stella. “They are allowing God to heal and restore their weakest and most vulnerable parts.”
As always, the Respect Life Dinner was an opportunity to recognize those in the diocese who have been active in the pro-life movement.
The 2019 Father Bill Carmody Defender of Life Award was presented to Bishop Sheridan by Mike Faricy.
Denise and Mike McGinnis of Pax Christi Parish received the Respect Life Volunteer of the Year Award.
“They have worked tirelessly together in recent years to grow their parish respect life committee in both participation and activity level,” said Bishop Michael Sheridan in presenting the award. “Their devotion to keeping the life issues in front of their parish family through prayer, guest speakers and community action provides worthy example for every one of us working to advance the cause of life.”
The winners of the Youth Project were Ava Homec, Aileen Ambuul and Lucy McIntyre of Corpus Christi School. The three girls were awarded a full scholarship to the West Coast Walk for Life in 2021. Their video, which encourages people to donate to LifeNetwork’s Pregnancy Center, will air on local cable television stations.
This year’s Respect Life Dinner raised approximately $35,000 for pro-life activities throughout the diocese.
Next year’s dinner will take place on Oct. 1, 2020. The keynote speaker will be Pat Castle, founder of LIFE Runners.