Annual Respect Life Mass is held at St. Michael’s Cathedral
Story and photos by Carolee McGrath
SPRINGFIELD – Parishioners from across the Diocese of Springfield gathered for the annual Respect Life Mass Oct. 27 at 10 a.m. at St. Michael’s Cathedral, here.
Dozens of Knights of Columbus members, in their full honor guard regalia, led the procession at the liturgy. Springfield Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell was the celebrant. The Mass was also broadcast live on the “Chalice of Salvation” program on WWLP TV-22NEWS.
“The Knights of Columbus are in the forefront of advocacy for those in need,” said Bishop McDonnell during his homily.
The Knights of Columbus, a fraternal benefit society, has throughout their history helped those in need and offered assistance to the sick and disabled. They also are known for their commitment to protecting the sanctity of life.
“The Knights of Columbus have made a special commitment in all aspects, from conception right to natural death. Here, locally, they’ve been helping to get sonograms for pregnant women. They’ve been helping with those who are hungry, feeding them. They have a program to clothe children,” noted Bishop McDonnell. He added the Knights of Columbus were instrumental in helping to defeat the physician-assisted suicide proposal last year in Massachusetts.
“The Knights are involved in all aspects of pro-life,” the bishop said. “I just wanted to say thank you to them.”
The pro-life Mass coincides with Respect Life Month, observed each year in the month of October as designated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Alberto Matos is a member of the Father Shea Council 11178 of Our Lady of the Lake Parish in Southwick. He also attends the Respect Life Mass each year.
“We support respect for life. That’s something the Knights of Columbus has always done,” said Matos. “We promote it and we do a lot with children, as far as children with intellectual disabilities, handicapped children; that’s just something we are strong supporters of.”
There are several activities taking place throughout the diocese this month to promote the sanctity of life including the 40 Days for Life Campaign and the annual Life Chain in Longmeadow.
Matos’ wife, Maxine, said those committed to the pro-life cause are focused on helping women and children and showing them Christ’s love and mercy.
“It’s important that young women, especially, know that there are other choices and that life is very important and that they have support of the whole community,” said Maxine Matos. “We believe in Christ and the blessed gift of life.”
For more on this story, tune into an upcoming edition of “Real to Reel,” the Diocese of Springfield’s television newsmagazine that airs Saturday evenings at 7 on WWLP-22NEWS.