On 27 May, the Feast of St Augustine of Canterbury, the Right Rev John Sherrington, Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster, celebrated Mass for those who campaign to uphold the right to life.
At the Mass, which took place at the Church of the Holy Child and St Joseph, Bedford, Bishop John said how each and every person’s life is a gift, referring to Pope Francis’ concerns about the lack of respect of human life, from beginning to end, seen in the world today.
He also echoed Pope Francis’ praise for “the various initiatives which assist pregnant mothers in difficulty and facilitate the protection of their children, and to ensure that life is always be defended, “with a style of neighbourliness, of closeness, so that every woman may feel treated like a person, listened to, welcomed, accompanied.” Bishop John continued, “Neighbourliness and closeness, in spite of circumstances, communicate the love which is at the heart of the gospel and invite a conversion of heart for the good of life. I thank those of you who practically help in this way.”
Love and Solidarity
Bishop John also said how the work of these groups was key to promoting this Gospel message: “To recognise and celebrate the gifts of each and every person through love and solidarity will communicate strongly to others though they may disagree. I thank you for the many ways in which you seek to protect the good of each and every human life since the gospel of life challenges us to promote in every legitimate way we can.”
He pointed to the importance of upholding the life and dignity of each human life: “The task is colossal and so we rely on the help of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The building of a culture in which we recognise that every human life, from conception to natural death, is a gift of God, must surely be the point of departure.
Every Person Is a Gift
“As Pope Benedict XVI emphasised in his encyclical Caritas in Veritate we are called to develop a deeper awareness of the gratuitousness of creation. Each and every person is a gift. Only when we respect the logic of the gift, rather than the logic of the self or logic of the market, will be live as God wills.”
Looking at the deeper meaning, Bishop John continued, “This has implications for out stewardship of creation and the way in which we structure life according to justice and truth. Giftedness – that we may recognise and celebrate the gift we have been given –is the heart of Eucharist and the celebration of Mass. To recognise and celebrate the gifts of each and every person through love and solidarity will communicate strongly to others though they may disagree.”
The Church of the Holy Child and St Joseph hosts itinerant Miraculous Relic Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, one of 220 Relic Images of Our Lady of Guadalupe that exist in the world. The Image exists as for veneration and to unite parishioners in prayer for Life, for Families and for Vocations.