.- The most effective means to fight abortion and other threats to life is prayer, said Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis. The archbishop of St. Louis issued this call to prayer and recounted his experience at the National March for Life in the latest issue of the diocesan newspaper, the St. Louis Review.
Prior to the march, the archbishop met with the parents and two siblings of Terri Schindler-Schiavo, the Florida woman who has been severely mentally and physically disabled for more than a decade. She lives free of life support but is fed through a tube.
Her husband, Michael Schiavo, has sought a court’s permission to terminate the nutrition treatment that has been keeping her alive, while her parents have fought to continue treatment.
“I was most edified by their strong faith and their tireless efforts to provide for their daughter and sister,” wrote Archbishop Burke. “Our commitment to foster the respect for human life must be total and without apology.”
“Given the gravity of the attack on innocent and defenseless human life in our nation, we must pray daily for the victims of abortion and for those who promote and provide procured abortion,” he wrote in his column titled Praying and Marching for Life.
“We must also participate in the public prayer and devotion of the Church — the Holy Mass, Eucharistic devotion and other devotions like the praying of the Rosary, for the intention of the respect for human life,” he continued.
The archbishop remarked that his experience with thousands of peaceful marchers at the National March for Life in Washington, DC, Jan. 24 was a “wonderful testimonial to the respect which is owed to all human life!”
“It was most heartening to see faithful of all ages enthusiastically giving witness to the Church’s teaching on the respect owed to all human life,” he said, commenting on the presence of many young people and on how the churches and other venues overflowed with faithful during several masses.
In his column, the archbishop expressed his admiration and gratitude for the well-organized pro-life apostolate of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, which was established by John Cardinal Carberry. Cardinal Carberry was archbishop of St. Louis 32 years ago when the Roe vs. Wade decision came through the courts.
Highlighting the importance of prayer in the pro-life movement, Mass is celebrated for St. Louis’ pro-life apostolate every third Saturday of the month at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis at 8 a.m. It is followed by Eucharistic adoration and a prayerful march to the Planned Parenthood facility.
“The challenge remains always ours to pray and work for the restoration of the respect for all human life in our nation,” he wrote. “May our daily prayer and witness build up in our nation the culture of life and of love.”