Catholics in the Archdiocese of St. Louis and across the nation will observe the Jan. 22 anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision with several events in January.
The annual March for Life will take place in Washington, D.C., on Friday, Jan. 19. Before the march, the Sisters of Life and the Knights of Columbus will host Life Fest, a rally featuring speakers, music and Mass.
At least eight Catholic schools and parishes from the Archdiocese of St. Louis will attend events in Washington to mark the anniversary. Students from St. Vincent de Paul High School in Perryville were awarded a grant to attend Students for Life of America’s National Pro-Life Summit. Additionally, the archdiocesan Respect Life Apostolate awarded grants of $500 each to five school groups to use toward their pilgrimages to the nation’s capital. They include St. Francis of Assisi in Oakville, St. Bridget of Kildare in Pacific, St. Vincent de Paul in Perryville, Chaminade College Preparatory School and St. Mary Magdalen in Brentwood.
In St. Louis, the Respect Life Apostolate will host the Roe v. Wade memorial Mass at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 20, at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis. Father Anthony Wieck, SJ, will be the main celebrant. Rosary and Benediction will follow Mass.
Several parishes also will host activities on or near the Roe anniversary. They include:
Mary Queen of Peace, 676 W. Lockwood Ave. in Webster Groves; Rosary and hour of eucharistic adoration from 7-8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 22.
St. Ambrose, 5130 Wilson Ave. in south St. Louis; pro-life Rosary and quiet prayer time from 3-4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 21.
St. Anselm, 500 S. Mason Road in Creve Coeur; Holy Hour with adoration, Rosary and Benediction from noon-1 p.m. Jan. 22 in the chapel located in the parish center.
St. Catherine Laboure, 9740 Sappington Road in Sappington; pro-life Rosary from noon-12:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20.
St. Cletus, 2705 Zumbehl Road in St. Charles; Holy Hour with Rosary and Benediction at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18.
St. Francis of Assisi, 4556 Telegraph Road in south St. Louis County; a Rosary for life will be prayed 30 minutes prior to the start of each of the weekend Masses. Rosary times are 3:30 p.m. Jan. 20, and 6:30, 8:30 and and 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 21. The parish also will have a display of candles and roses near the altar and distribute a handout of information and prayers.
St. Francis Borgia, 115 Cedar St. in Washington; pro-life prayer from 4-4:45 p.m. Jan. 22, followed by a candlelight prayer vigil from 5-6 p.m. at the intersection of Jefferson and Fifth streets in Washington.
St. Ignatius in Concord Hill; a prayer chain will he held at Highways 47 and 94 in Marthasville (in between the gas station and Katy Trail) from 11 a.m.-noon on Jan. 20.
St. Justin Martyr, 11910 Eddie & Park Rad in Sunset Hills; Rosary for life at the statue of Mary behind the rectory at 3 p.m. on Jan. 22. Alternate location at church in case of inclement weather.
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, 4900 Ringer Road in south St. Louis County; prayer service and meeting at 7 p.m. on Jan. 22 in the school library. The meeting will include discussion and action items related to the abortion initiative petitions.
St. Paul, 1223 Church Road in St. Paul; Mass at 8 a.m. on Jan. 22 (Rosary will be prayed before Mass), Holy Hour from 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. in the church and another Holy Hour from 7-8 p.m. in the adoration chapel.
Valle Catholic School/Ste. Genevieve Parish, 40 N. 4th St. in Ste. Genevieve; Valle Catholic School will host the Ste. Genevieve March for Life on Jan. 19. The march will begin with a silent witness in the Valle Catholic School gymnasium at 1:55 p.m. Participants will proceed through town, just as Valle Catholic juniors, seniors and parents are marching in Washington, D.C. The event will culminate with a candlelight prayer service at Ste. Genevieve church.
Other activities in January include a Young Adult Holy Hour at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18, at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis. The evening will include a pro-life witness talk from Father Charlie Samson, eucharistic adoration, Rosary and confessions. The gathering is hosted by Anima Christi and the Respect Life Apostolate.
The U.S. bishops are hosting 9 Days for Life, a novena for the protection of human life, from Jan. 16-24. Each day’s intention is accompanied by a reflection and suggested actions to help build a culture of life. To sign up for daily prayers,
After the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe with the Dobbs v. Whole Woman’s Health decision in June of 2022, numerous groups have shifted their focus to other activities throughout the year, including October during Respect Life Month and the anniversary of the Dobbs decision.
>> Missouri ballot initiative
With the Dobbs v. Jackson decision in June of 2022, Missouri became the first state in the nation to restore legal protections for unborn babies and women.
Several proposals have since been made to amend Missouri’s constitution to allow abortions. If a ballot summary is approved, signatures will need to be collected from 8% of legal voters in six of the state’s eight congressional districts by May 5. If the group collects enough signatures, the measure will appear on the November 2024 ballot.
In preparation for the ballot initiative and potential 2024 vote, the four Catholic dioceses of Missouri have formed a coalition with other pro-life leaders and Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, a national advocacy group. The archdiocesan Respect Life Apostolate has recommended these five actions to get involved:
Pray: Be bold and confident in asking our Good Lord’s help in stopping any pro-abortion initiative petition. Pray and invite others to pray to help save babies and protect moms. Ask your pastor to start a regular Rosary for Life and Holy Hour.
Walk with moms: Support moms in your parish and community, especially those facing an unexpected pregnancy. Partner with your local pregnancy help center to walk with them. For more information, visit walkingwithmomsstl.com.
Decline to sign: If the ballot language is certified so that pro-abortion supporters may start collecting signatures, do not sign any petition to allow abortion to be enshrined in the state constitution on the November 2024 ballot.
Promote voter registration: Encourage young people and other new voters to register. Help at a registration drive in your community or ask your pastor if you can organize one at your parish (per the Secretary of State guidelines).
Help those wounded by abortion: Encourage those affected by abortion to reach out for compassionate help and healing at archstl.org/hope-healing.
The Respect Life apostolate will host a meeting on Monday, Jan. 29, at the Cardinal Rigali Center in Shrewsbury, which will include an update on the ballot initiative and more information on walking with women and families in need. All are welcome. The meeting will begin with fellowship at 6:30 p.m., followed by the meeting at 7. Auxiliary Bishop Rivituso will offer the opening prayer. For more information, call (314) 792-7555 or email [email protected]. The Respect Life Apostolate also will share specific action items for each of the five points at stlrespectlife.org.
Archbishop Mitchell T. Rozanski recently wrote a column reflecting on the ballot initiative and supporting those in need. To read his column, visit stlreview.com/47vWvHn.
For specific action items on each five points, visit stlrespectlife.org.