Bishop Edward Malesic will be the principal celebrant for the annual diocesan Mass for Life at 10 a.m. Jan. 21 in the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. The liturgy will be livestreamed on the diocesan website. In addition, the Mass can be viewed on the diocesan Facebook page and broadcast live on radio station AM 1260 The Rock.
The Mass will take place on the anniversary of the 1973 landmark United States Supreme Court Roe v. Wade ruling, which established that a woman’s right to choose an abortion for the full nine months of pregnancy is protected by the privacy rights guaranteed by the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.
In advance of the liturgy, Bishop Malesic released a message about the Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children, which is observed on Jan. 22. He said it is meant to be a day of prayer asking for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life. It is also a day of contrition for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion.
The bishop said each life is a gift from God and ultimately belongs to him. Read the bishop’s entire statement here.
Students, seminarians from Borromeo and Saint Mary seminaries, families and others from across the eight-county Diocese of Cleveland are expected to attend the Mass, according to Mary von Carlowitz, director of the diocesan Office for Human Life.
However, because of the continuing high rate of COVID-19 transmission, von Carlowitz said in-person seating at the Mass will be limited due to the need for physical distancing. Those planning to attend the Mass must register in advance at dioceseofcleveland.org/massforlife. She encouraged people to watch the livestream or to listen to the radio broadcast of the liturgy.
“May we always remember the exhortation of St. Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life) which reminds us to always “Respect, protect, love and serve life, every human life,” the bishop said.
After Mass, winners of the diocesan respect life poster and essay contests will be announced.