Local Walk for Life

It never ceases to amaze me how often, without any preplanning or forethought, the Mass readings perfectly align with the topic of the event. Friday, our Diocese came together for the first annual local Walk for Life at LaSalette Shrine in North Attleboro, and the Daily Mass Readings could not have been more appropriate for the occasion!  

Beginning with Saint Paul’s hearing from the Lord in a vision, “Do not be afraid. Go on speaking, and do not be silent, for I am with you. No one will attack and harm you.” This encouragement to keep speaking, keep sharing the Good News, and keep bringing Christ’s message to the world is also meant for us. We cannot be afraid to speak out, to be the voice for our most vulnerable citizens, regardless of the difficulty or challenges we face; we are not alone, Jesus is always with us. 

Images from the May 10 Walk for Life

We will sadly, always find opposition to Jesus’ teachings on matters of what it means to uphold the dignity of all human life. Secularism threatens the truth and the Gospel of Jesus. Again, John’s Gospel, proclaimed on Friday, spoke perfectly to the struggle we will face standing up for all life from conception to natural death. 

Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy. When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world. So you also are now in anguish. But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. On that day you will not question me about anything. Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.”

Know the Church is with you, behind you, and you can take courage to speak the truth—humbly, respectively, especially to those who criticize your beliefs. We are to use tactics of love, gentleness, and understanding —demonstrating we can live with differences. No violation of human dignity should be tolerated, and this issue goes beyond abortion. We walk for the lives of the elderly, terminally ill, victims of war, and those trafficked. We stand, we walk, we speak, to protect the innocent and defenseless among us.

Local Walk for Life, La Salette Shrine, N. Attleboro

So what can we do? Pray! Remember what Jesus said: Ask anything of the Father in Jesus’ name in prayer. We pray to reach hearts while a lot of effort is put forth to change the law, and this is indeed important. Yet, that is only half battle. Until we change hearts, the battle for our vulnerable brothers and sisters, those born and unborn, will continue. I thank the Office of Secretariat of the New Evangelization, particularly Irina Robinson, Director of Family and Respect Life, and Deborah LeDoux, Coordinator of Family and Respect Life, for their hard work and dedication to making this Local Walk for Life happen. I hope to see you all there next year.

Pentecost Sunday

Pentecost signifies the end of the Easter season and will be celebrated this year this Sunday, May 19th. In the Acts of the Apostles, Jesus explained that He was going to send an Advocate, a Counselor, the Paraclete. “While meeting with them, he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for “the promise of the Father about which you have heard me speak; for John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the holy Spirit” (Acts 1:4-5).

The Apostles in the Upper Room waited in hope and trust despite being uncertain and fearful. Their hope was not misplaced. Once they received the Holy Spirit, they were never the same again. The moment the Holy Spirit came upon them, everything changed, and their lives were never the same again, and the world was never the same again. That is why we have the Church. That is why we have the Sacraments and everything we cherish about our Catholic faith because the Holy Spirit came. May you experience an outpouring of the Holy Spirit into your heart, home, and parish this Pentecost Sunday.

Learn more or register here:

National Eucharistic Pilgrimage

This Pentecost weekend will also kick off the 65-day National Eucharistic Pilgrimage leading up to the July National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis. The routes begin in New Haven, Connecticut; Brownsville, Texas; San Francisco, California; and Northern Minnesota. Six perpetual pilgrims, young adults selected by congress leaders, priest chaplains, and seminarians, will travel each route. They will accompany the Eucharist, often held in a monstrance specially designed for the pilgrimage. Our Diocese’s Father Roger Landry is the priest chaplain of the pilgrimage’s St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Route from the East; he shared his thoughts on the momentous event in the most recent edition of The Anchor. My prayers go with all of the pilgrims; if you want to learn more or join the journey, more information can be found on the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage website: https://www.eucharisticpilgrimage.org

Yours in Christ,
Bishop da Cunha

Reverendísimo Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., D.D.
Reverendísimo Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., D.D.
The Bishop of Fall River