It was a solemn Saturday evening as the congregation at Our Lady Help of Christians Parish in Cheektowaga observed the 46th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.
The talking points of the observance focused on upholding the belief that life begin at conception. Father Jeffrey Nowak led the evening’s Homily. He said the commemoration is not a celebration of what some call an American Holocaust.
“And so what we commemorate is, over these past forty-six years, over sixty-million children in the womb have been snuffed out systematically through abortion. So for the Catholic community, it’s a time of great sorrow but it is also a time that calls us to prayer. It calls us to an awareness of the person, even at its smallest stages.”
Following the Mass was the Pro-Vita, or For Life awards, an annual ceremony given to members of the church who go out of their way to affirm their pro-life stance. Father Nowak was a recipient two years ago.
“What it highlights, is people in our community, in our faith communities, it highlights people in the medical profession. Those who are professionals, those who are educators. Clergy, religious, lay administers in the church. What it does is it highlights these individuals who really have gone above and beyond their witness to the gift of human life, and the protection and dignity of human life.”
Nowak said he is also seeing a generational shift in how young members of the church are approaching this divisive issue.
“And I think what they are starting to see is that they realize that they deserve better than just being casual in the bedroom and in terms of sexual morality. But also they’re recognizing again, what science proves, what faith teaches us, of the human person that begins at conception. And they go and defend it with their signs, ‘we are the pro-life generation.’”
Father Nowak expressed displeasure with New York State and the Democratic leadership over a bill set to be enacted this year called the Reproductive Health Act saying it would allow for further radical procedures related to abortion. The bill had not been able to pass the Republican lead State Senate but is expected to pass this session with Democrats now in charge.