COLORADO SPRINGS. Hundreds of people joined the St. Mary’s High School Students for Life and the Diocese of Colorado Springs Respect Life Apostolate for the annual Rocky Mountain March for Life on Jan. 20. It was a beautiful day as we prayed and marched for the sanctity of life. Carrying new signs declaring that “Civil Rights Begin in the Womb,” we recognized Martin Luther King Jr. Day and proclaimed the sacred value of all life. SMHS Student for Life member Anthony Wilmot emceed the events at the Planned Parenthood sidewalk, including ecumenical prayer and a pro-life rosary, led respectively by Pastor Jeff Anderson and Father Joe Dygert.
Father Lawrence Mulinda, parochial vicar at Holy Apostles Parish, delivered the inspiring keynote remarks and Father Brian Roeseler, with a cadre of altar servers, led a beautiful Eucharistic procession to Corpus Christi Church. At the church, SMHS Students for Life member Katie Morales led the singing of the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and Bishop Sheridan and several diocesan priests and deacons celebrated Mass. We invite you to mark your calendars for next year’s Rocky Mountain March for Life on Jan. 18, 2021 and to reflect on Father Mulinda’s encouraging keynote remarks:
Today being Martin Luther King Day, I can authoritatively say that even for Dr. King himself, the greatest weapon he had in his tool box is that he loved God. The greatest initials before his name were not the “Dr.” but the “Rev.” Through his studies to become a minister of God, he received an inside knowledge, an understanding, and an appreciation for the sacredness of human life, and the place humanity holds in God’s plan of creation!
And for that matter, nobody — and I mean — nobody can accomplish the things that Dr. King did, with such love, courage, and selflessness unless they are moved by something greater than themselves. He was moved by a supernatural love and a supernatural courage. These are virtues that can only be attributed to God and faith in him!
And so, today, I deliberately choose not to quote from Dr. King’s words but to quote from God’s Word, which gave power to Dr. King’s words and witness!
In St. Paul’s Second Letter to Timothy (2 Tim 1:6-8), Paul reminds and urges Timothy to reawaken the flame of faith [that spirit of God] which he received through the imposition of hands. It was not a spirit of fear or cowardice but a spirit of power, love, truth. And Paul quickly adds: “Do not be ashamed to give testimony to our Lord!” In other words, stand up for the truth, even if is not popular, even if it may lead you to hardship or imprisonment.
What is that truth that Paul is talking about? What is that truth that must be proclaimed even today, on this day that we march for life? Here it is, pure and simple: We cannot be Christians and not be pro-life. When life is under attack, we have no choice but to stand on the side of life; do what we must; while at the same time imploring God to come quickly to the aid of humanity.
Elsewhere in the Scriptures, in the book of prophet Habakkuk (Hab. 1:2-3; 2:2-4), we find the prophet crying out to the Lord. And we must cry out with him, with one voice. This is how he puts it: “How long oh Lord, how long must we cry out to you! Violence! Violence everywhere and you do not intervene! Why do you let us see such ruin and misery?” In other words, why must we witness such senseless destruction of human life?
Ironically, in this passage, God is not silent. He answers the prophet and says: “I will not disappoint you, wait for that day, it is coming” — dear friends, that day is coming!
Therefore, in our mission to defend the dignity and sanctity of human life, we must have hope. We need to keep the faith, and the pressure on! Indeed, like the prophet says, that day is coming. We are beginning to see the tide change on these issues. Faith tells us that: Yes, evil can seem to triumph for a while but, ‘Truth will soon have its day in court’ and evil can never have the last word. In the spirit of the Christmas season we just ended, “A light is shining in the darkness, and darkness cannot extinguish it” (John 1:5).
Christians are always a people of hope. We cannot let down our guard. It would be suicide and complacency if we were to adopt a “leave it to God” attitude. We must continue applying meaningful pressure on all fronts, in defense of the most precious gift of life that we have. If we do so, we can be sure of this: God himself will come through. He will not let us down.
Many of you might be familiar with how the abortion industry started. Dr. Bernard Nathanson is credited as one of the engineers of the abortion-rights movement in the 1970s. Of course, he later saw the light, changed course and became a leading spokesperson for life. He died in 2011 at age 84. Anyhow, some years back, he gave a talk to priests, and he was recounting how he and his colleagues had managed to launch and sustain the abortion industry. He looked at the priests in his audience and simply said: “We would never have gotten away with what we did if you guys had been united, purposeful and strong.”
This doctor knew then what abortion-rights activists still know today: that the greatest obstacle to their movement is the Church — you, the Christians! You, God-loving people, are a pain! It’s that simple. You are the greatest headache to pro-choice issues, and to the abortion industry. Keep up the heat . . . it is a matter of time.
The bad news for the abortion industry is this, that by God’s own promise, the Church is the only institution that has a divine guarantee that it will prevail over the ‘culture of death’. You have the Lord God on your side, and his assurance that ‘the gates of Hell will not prevail against truth’ (Matt 16:18). So, keep the faith and keep up the pressure. Hang in there. Help is on the way. The Lord is on the horizon. People of faith (everywhere) are busy storming the gates of hell; the gates of falsehood; the gates of death; the gates of violence; and those gates are not going to be able to withstand the power of heaven for long!
And so, as God-loving people, we do not hesitate to stand up, we do not hesitate to march, we do not hesitate to sing this song of freedom. We sing it to anyone who will listen. And yes, we sing it without fear, for the Lord is on our side.
And yes, this much we know: The culture of death is about to crumble. It is only a matter of time. Amen!
(Mary Simmons is the parent advisor for the Students for Life club at St. Mary’s High School.)