A solemn commemoration: events to mark Roe’s 40th year
By Julie Filby
This month marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in the United States. Since the Jan. 22, 1973, ruling, it is estimated 55 million babies nationwide have died through abortion.
To commemorate the anniversary, Catholics in the Denver Archdiocese will come together to be educated, memorialize lives lost, witness publicly and pray for an end to abortion.
Events will include a Pro-Life Boot Camp for teens, a Respect Life Mass at the cathedral, and a 40-year remembrance event to honor children lost to abortion.
Respect Life Mass
At 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 20, the annual Respect Life Mass will be celebrated by Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception at 1530 Logan St. in Denver.
At 3 p.m. Jan. 20 all are invited to a special event with Archbishop Aquila, “40-Year Remembrance: Honoring Denver’s Children Lost to Abortion.” It will be held at Lighthouse Women’s Center at 3894 Olive St. in Denver, a block from Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.
The remembrance will begin with song and prayer, followed by words from the archbishop, who will then bless area pilgrims headed to the national March for Life in Washington, D.C., Jan. 25.
40 Years Since Roe v. Wade
Respect Life Events
Annual Respect Life Mass
March for Life Denver
40-Year Remembrance: Honoring Denver’s Children Lost to Abortion
Pro-Life Boot Camp for youth (eighth grade and up)
A missionary image of Our Lady of Guadalupe will be at the event. The 4-foot-by-6-foot digital image is one of only four replicas worldwide of the iconic tilma on display at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.
The image, whose mission is to end abortion and bring conversions in the new evangelization, has been venerated by hundreds of thousands worldwide since it began its journey in 1991. It is currently being hosted by parishioners of St. Peter Parish in Monument, in the Diocese of Colorado Springs.
The event will conclude with a procession to Planned Parenthood. There participants will place flowers along the fence surrounding the campus and pray for children who lost their lives at the facility. Attendees are asked to bring flowers.
Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of abortions in the United States, performing 329,445 abortions in 2010 according to the organization’s most recent annual report. The Denver headquarters is the second largest of more than 800 facilities nationwide. Aiming to increase its abortion business, a 2010 directive from Planned Parenthood mandated that each of its 85 affiliates, or regions, have at least one clinic that provides abortions in place by the end of 2013.
Pro-Life Boot Camp
Lynn Grandon, director of the archdiocese’s Respect Life Office, will be featured at the second annual Pro-Life Boot Camp for youth, eighth grade and up, to teach them the medical and Catholic perspectives on conception and abortion.
The boot camp will be offered twice at St. Thomas More Church, 8035 S. Quebec St. in Centennial: 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16; or 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19. It will include lessons on embryology, as illustrated with embryo models and a video from an embryoscopy.
“When young people can see the images, it affirms the beauty of the human person so much earlier for them,” said Grandon, adding that informing youth about the milestones of development enables them to more effectively dialogue with their peers.
“Sharing those milestones (with friends considering abortion) can save lives,” she said.
More than 125 youths and adults participated in last year’s camp. To register, call 303-220-3388, ext. 4 or 2, by Jan. 13.
For questions about any of the upcoming events, contact the Respect Life Office at 303-715-3205 or email Respect.Life@archden.org.
MARCH FOR LIFE
To mark the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, hundreds are expected to converge at the Colorado State Capitol Jan. 20 for the first March for Life Denver, organized by a local group of the same name. The solemn rally, which will include several pro-life speakers, will begin at 12:30 p.m. on the west side of the Capitol building in downtown Denver.
The march will be held in solidarity with the March for Life in Washington, D.C., Jan. 25, attended by an estimated 400,000 people last year; as well as Walk for Life West Coast Jan. 26, which drew more than 40,000 anti-abortion protestors to downtown San Francisco in 2011.
Speakers in Denver will include best-selling author Gregg Jackson; Dominican Father W. Scott Daniels of Priests for Life; head of Issues4Life Walter B Hoye II; Father Rocco Porter, pastor of Blessed John XXIII Parish in Fort Collins; former pro-abortion feminist and Catholic convert Jane Brennan; director of outreach for the American Life League Rey Flores; and Julie Averill of Silent No More Denver.
Organizers request that participants dress in somber colors, such as black or brown, and if carrying signage that no graphic images be displayed.