A letter from Father Manno:
Last week was a difficult week for those of us in New York State who are pro-life. It was tragic to watch as our governor signed a bill allowing for late-term abortions and much more. Sadly, our state already had in place the most progressive abortion laws and now they are the most progressive of any state in the country. I am not a politician, but it does seem to me there should have been more pressing issues on the agenda for our state legislature and senate in the new year.
People have been asking me all week why our government and lawmakers have not been formally excommunicated by the Church. I will leave that up to Church lawyers to figure out as I know it is a bit more complicated than we think. Personally, I feel the best thing I can do (or we can do) is: 1. Pray, 2. Advocate, and 3. Act.
We need to pray daily that people will uphold the sanctity and dignity of human life. Pray the Rosary, the Divine Mercy Chaplet, offer Communion up at Mass in defense of life, offer novenas, devotions, or make a holy hour. Our prayers can be stronger and mightier than any vote in favor of a culture of death.
Advocate for life at all times. Write a letter/email every week to your state assembly person or senator. Use the same letter if you have to. You will catch their attention after a while. Our advocacy for life has to be a lot stronger than the advocacy for death in this state. We need to make our voices known and be consistent in our efforts. If we are truly pro-life we have to show it at all times — when it’s convenient and inconvenient.
Action is so very much needed. If we are pro-life, then we must act on it. We have to demonstrate that in thought, word, and deed. We have to go out and get behind the various ministries that support life from conception until natural death. This might mean we have to stop talking, sulking, and complaining about the bill that was passed and actually sacrifice our time, talent, and treasure to give witness to others that we are authentically pro-life.
In short, we are not defeated — we have not lost this battle — we are in the trenches and we keep praying, advocating, and acting knowing that all things are possible with God. I cannot even begin to tell you, in my time as a priest, the number of people who told me they considered an abortion and God changed their mind. You know how God changed their mind?… because we were praying, advocating, and acting. AMEN!
Father Manno (Proud to be Pro-Life)