[An unabridged English version of Bishop Cote’s letter is available on the cluster web site]
Dear Brothers and Sisters at Sts. Peter and Paul and St. Mary Parishes:
I agree with everything Bishop Cote tells us in his letter and I encourage you to read the full text (in English) on our cluster website. I encourage you to keep Saturday, January 22 as a real day of prayer and fasting – a practice the Church once embodied in its Ember Days - that our country and the world may find their way to a new era in which every human life is held sacred. Come to Sts. Peter and Paul Church to pray the rosary at 7:30 in the morning followed by Holy Mass at 8:00. Early in the day! Why not? Take time to pause and pray. You can find helpful material in the cluster web page.
As we pray, we cannot focus exclusively on changing laws. A great culture war is going on around us. One side looks principally at the legal protection of unborn life. The opposing side holds up the very real concerns of women in our society, especially women in poverty who are do not get the support they need so that they can nurture life while participating fully in society. Catholic social teaching looks at both sides and calls for each side to listen to the other. Pope Francis has placed our concern with the unborn in the context of concern for children already born but left to wither in poverty. He also reminds us that laws for the protection of unborn life are of little use if humanity allows its own home to be turned into a desert, unfit for any human life. We have much to pray for. Please join in prayer next Saturday, January 22!
In Christ’s peace,