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Diocese to hold Mass for Life events

YOUNGSTOWN — Bishop David J. Bonnar of the Diocese of Youngstown will celebrate two diocesan Masses for Life this month, inviting all to pray for a greater respect for human life at every stage and in all circumstances.

The first Mass for Life will take place 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Chapel at Walsh University, 2020 E. Maple St., North Canton. The second Mass for Life will take place 4 p.m. on Jan. 23 at St. Columba Cathedral, 154 W. Wood St., Youngstown.

David Schmidt, Office of Pro-Life, Marriage and Family Life, said at each Mass, expectant mothers, fathers and their families will be invited to receive a blessing for their unborn babies.

He said the “Blessing of a Child in the Womb” was created to encourage prayer and recognition of the gift of the child in the womb, and to foster respect for human life within society.

Schmidt said the Diocese of Youngstown’s annual Masses for Life occur near the date of Jan. 22, which the Catholic Church in the United States observes as a day of prayer for the legal protection of unborn life.

In his message to the Diocese’s clergy and faithful, Bonnar states, “God alone engenders the gift of life. As a church we steadfastly believe that this life begins in the mother’s womb at conception and therefore is sacred. As Catholics it is incumbent for all of us to protect and defend this life and to pray daily for an end to abortion. … We cannot afford to be selective or dismissive about this sacred gift of life that comes from God.”

Bonnar also writes, “We also have a responsibility to safeguard and protect the dignity of every human life. In this time of pandemic, it is imperative that we all do our part to protect one another by becoming vaccinated.”

Pope Francis has stated getting vaccinated is “an act of charity for the common good.

“Seeking the proper vaccinations is not a political statement but the responsible, Catholic and just thing to do for the good of all. To those who remain unvaccinated, I beg you as your spiritual father to become vaccinated as soon as possible as an act of charity for the common good,” the pope said.

For information, contact the Office of Pro-Life, Marriage and Family Life at 330-744-8451.

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