SCRANTON – When reflecting on the importance of October as Respect Life Month, it is heartening to know that many young people are involved. Thousands of students attend the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. – while many others take part in pro-life efforts in their high school and colleges.
Several students from Holy Cross High School in Dunmore showed their commitment to the protection of life on Sunday, Oct. 3, by serving as readers, gift bearers and altar servers at the Diocese of Scranton’s annual Respect Life Mass held at the Cathedral of Saint Peter.
“I think it’s important as high schoolers to be here and represent our age group and our support for life,” senior Molly White said.
“It’s important to me. It makes me happy to see everybody coming together to respect life,” senior Andrew Francis added.
Julia Goetz, a Holy Cross senior from Old Forge, believes it is a critical topic for teenagers to discuss.
“I think it’s important as a teenager to bring up how important it is to be pro-life and that life is God’s gift to us,” she said.
The Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, served as principal celebrant and homilist for the Respect Life Mass. He invited the faithful to focus upon Saint Joseph as the great defender of life for our Savior, Jesus, and his mother, Mary.
“In the gospels, Saint Joseph is described as a man of deep faith, who, despite his uncertainty about the events surrounding the birth of Jesus, is willing to set aside his own judgments and instead place his trust unwaveringly in the power of God. For Saint Joseph, God was in control and that was all that mattered,” Bishop Bambera said.
The bishop also explained how threats to human life are continuing to increase.
“In our very own country, while the United States Supreme Court has provided us with some degree of hope by agreeing to hear a major challenge to abortion rights, just over a week ago, the United States House of Representatives voted to pass what many have described as the most radical abortion on demand bill that our nation has ever seen,” Bishop Bambera noted.
While particularly noting the “scourge of abortion” as a threat to human life, the bishop also identified other threats that include assisted suicide, euthanasia, infanticide, human cloning, the death penalty, human trafficking, unjust immigration laws and the dire consequences of war.
“When we rationalize why the taking of one life should be allowed, every life is in jeopardy,” Bishop Bambera said.
That part of the bishop’s homily resonated with Molly White, who served as a reader during the Mass.
“Trying to get rid of the death penalty is important to me,” she explained.