Respect Life Month begins with Mass at St. Joseph Cathedral
Bishop Michael W. Fisher reminded the small crowd at St. Joseph Cathedral that October is Respect Life Month where we give special attention to “that breath of life that God has given to each one of us making us precious in God’s sight.”
Bishop Fisher led the Respect Life Mass held at the downtown Buffalo cathedral on Oct. 2.
The bishop, who has been on the road a lot in the past few weeks, told of coming home from a trip to St. Bonaventure University to install Dr. Jeff Gingerich as the new president of the college. Tired from the long drive, he put on the television looking for some light entertainment. He found the 1927 silent film “Metropolis.”
“It’s quite a classic. I think it inspired a lot of science fiction movies,” he said. “As many of that era, they always seem to speak to the problems in the situations of our day. I couldn’t help but think as I watched it, hearing the prophet Habakkuk who we listened to (in the first reading of the day). He said, ‘How long, Lord? How long?’ This pleading with God. Are you going to take us out of our misery? When will you take away, in a sense, our suffering? We have faith in You and we believe in You.”
The film depicts humanity being used only for profit and gain, rather than profit and gain being used for the benefit of humanity. People become cogs in the machinery that powers the city.
“The scene seemed to do nothing but continue to push the human person down more and more into being just a piece of machinery in a sense. Humanity dissipates and disappears into being the same thing over and over again,” the bishop said in describing the film.
The film was made between the two world wars and a few years before the Great Depression, the bishop saw the film as a prediction of the horrors to come. “There was no respect for humanity,” he said.
This relates to the cry of the prophet Habakkuk, asking for relief.
“As we begin this month of respecting life, I think the readings are appropriate because they call us to a greater appreciation and hopefully an encouragement in our call to be more faithful and to nurture that gift of faith that God has given us,” the bishop said.
In closing, Bishop Fisher thanked those who work in the difficult ministries to help those who are struggling to uphold the dignity of life.
“We also thank God for the strength to continue on in this wonderful gift,” he said.
Pope Francis has called the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor are “masterpieces of God’s creation and deserving of utmost reverence and respect.”
“God alone is the lord of life from its beginning until its end. No one can, under any circumstances claim for himself, the right directly to destroy an innocent human being. Every human life is sacred. The teaching of the Church is clear. But so many people, Catholics included in many cases, can be so influenced by our culture of death that their minds are clouded by truth. We need to make it clear to our children and our children’s children that each and every human person from conception to natural death is to be treated with utmost respect. We see the struggle continues.”
The Mass was sponsored by the Office of Pastoral Ministries.