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Pro-life Mass sees several groups unite for single cause


Dolly Verdi from Buffalo 40 Days for Life prepares to lead a prayer for life as several diocesan organizations proceed to the Women Services Clinic to pray the rosary to end abortion.

The pro-life community gathered to make a visible sign and prayerful witness to the value of unborn life as the Knights of Columbus, the Office of Pastoral Ministries, and Buffalo 40 Days for Life sponsored a Unified March and Respect Life Mass on Oct. 2. About three dozen people made the half-mile trek from St. Mark Church on Woodward Avenue to the Buffalo Women Services clinic on Main Street, praying the rosary the entire way.

Before the march, Father David Baker, director of Vocations for the Diocese of Buffalo, celebrated Mass for the group. He pointed out how semantics seem to play a role in determining the value of human life.

“We are in the midst of a war of words,” he said, pointing to a guidance memo issued by National Public Radio that all reporters must always refer to an unborn child as a “fetus,” and use the term “child” only after the birth.

“A very clever and concise commentator on the internet mentioned ‘Oh yeah, because National Public Radio is filled with articles about Prince Harry and Megan Markle’s royal fetus.’ So, it was a baby when they wanted it to be a baby and other times it was a fetus. National Public Radio would decide when the child is worthy … British royalty? It’s a baby. But other kids? Forget about that.”

By following the science, it is clear when life begins. A heartbeat starts three weeks after conception. Brain activity begins at five weeks. At just six week, fingers begin to form.

“This is the war of words. We use words to cheapen the dignity of people who we just don’t want to exist,” Father Baker said. “We stand for the life and protection of every single child from the very moment of conception. It doesn’t matter what genetic difficulties you may have or what the economic situation of the family you’re born into is. None of that matters. You are a life created in the image and likeness of God. We’re going to protect you.”

Three dozen people representing the Knights of Columbus, Buffalo 40 Days for Life, The Diocesan Office of Pastoral Ministries and parish Respect Life groups, gather to pray the rosary in front of Buffalo Women Services Clinic in the hopes that women will choose life rather than abortion. (Photos by Patrick J. Buechi)

The march, led by the Knights of Columbus, offered a prayerful witness to those who drove past the clinic. Other groups were already present when the diocesan marchers arrived. Former abortion workers have testified that when people are praying in front of clinics up to 75 percent of scheduled appointments do not show up.

“This group’s heart is where it needs to be, especially in these troubling times,” said Cheryl Calire, director of the diocesan Office of Pastoral Ministries.

Sarah Baker made an hour drive to participate in the march. She brought her young son, Gideon, with her.

“Life is important, and we’re losing that in society – respect for life,” she said.

Being a young mother, she can understand the trepidation and concerns of having a child, but can’t deny the, even before birth, it is a living creature. 

“It’s a lot of work. I can understand, it’s a huge struggle, especially if you don’t have the support you need to take the baby for a little bit so you can get anything done, to take care of yourself,” she said. “There’s also the movement, being able to feel the baby before he’s born, just knowing he’s there.”


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