Pilgrimage for Life and Liberty
On Sunday, Oct. 14, Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore led thousands in prayer for life and liberty. The "Pilgrimage for Life and Liberty" drew a standing room only crowd at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.
Archbishop Lori served as principal celebrant and homilist at the Mass, and led the assembled faithful in praying the rosary on the first day of the USCCB's Novena for Life and Liberty.
He was joined in prayer by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano - Apostolic Nuncio to the United States - and by a large number of concelebrating priests.
The Knights of Columbus provided a large honor guard, and Knights from throughout the region joined in the pilgrimage to stand in solidarity with their bishops and the supreme chaplain at the Mass.The event was broadcast by EWTN.
In his homily, Archbishop Lori warned: "Increasingly, anti-life and anti-family rules are being imposed on people of faith. Our “right to choose” – our right to choose to practice the faith we profess – a right guaranteed by the First Amendment – seems to mean little or nothing to many who wield power."
He continued: "As believers and as citizens we must robustly engage in the political process by voting with a properly formed conscience and by continually letting our elected officials know that we expect them to protect the God-given rights of life and liberty,"
Archbishop Lori cited Pope Benedict XVI's words on the Year of Faith in which the pope said: “Faith opens our eyes to human life in all its grandeur and beauty. ... A Christian may never think of belief as a private act. Faith is choosing to stand with the Lord so as to live with him”
Encouraging the faithful to take the pope's words to heart, Archbishop Lori said: "Yet, dear friends, secularism is able to make such inroads against life and liberty primarily because so many people have set aside their religious faith by ceasing to practice their faith or by compartmentalizing it in their lives, like elected officials who say they are personally opposed to intrinsic evils, such as abortion, while doing everything in their power to promote them. If we want to turn back the powerful incursions of secularism against the dignity of human life and the freedom to practice our faith, . . . then we must heed the call of Pope Benedict XVI to engage in the new evangelization, to stand with Christ, to know our faith, to love our faith, to share our faith, to invite those who have stopped practicing the faith to return home to the Church and to reach out in truth and love to those who are searching for truth and love."
Following Mass, the Blessed Sacrament was exposed on the Altar during the recitation of the rosary launching nationwide Oct. 14-22.