"Cardinal Roger Mahony extends a special invitation to join with him, the Auxiliary Bishops, Priests, Deacons and Faithful of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for our Annual Respect Life Mass [at 6 p.m.] on January 20, 2007 [at the Cathedral on Temple Street downtown]. From the first notes of the Shantigarh Requiem for the Unborn through the concluding candle lighting service, this joyful [???] and moving liturgy is our opportunity to celebrate our respect for life...
"...we are united in a common goal: to proclaim the inherent dignity of human life from the moment of conception to natural death...
"Before the close of the Mass, there is an extraordinary candle lighting ceremony during which members of the assembly bring forward candles – one candle for each life lost to abortion that day in the County of Los Angeles. Honoring these brief lives is a particularly moving and beautiful [???] moment in this liturgy."
Comment: Incidentally, the "Shantigarh Requiem for the Unborn" is a composition by local Catholic music director John Bonaduce, who founded a youth choir he named Shantigarh.
Certainly it is good, and not only that, indispensable, to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for "the dignity of human life." However...
One Mass once a year in the largest Archdiocese in the USA is not enough. I say "one Mass once a year" because there is one other pro-life Mass, on the Respect Life Sunday in October, but many pastors ignore it and are utterly silent about the babies that Sunday (and all Sundays).
We -- and more to the point, the babies -- need a pro-life Mass in every parish every week, a life-saving pro-life Mass. That is a Mass whose homily would include an action plan for the clergy and laity of the parish to fight abortions, and help moms, in their neighborhood.
The annual Archdiocesan "Respect Life" Mass needs such an action plan. It is not enough to light a candle for each of the 160 babies killed on an average day in Los Angeles County. What about saving the babies' lives, instead of letting them be killed and then saying, "How sad."
By the way, what about the babies being aborted in the Archdiocese's other counties -- Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo?
The "Respect Life" Mass should also include an apology from Cardinal Mahony for promoting the election of Catholic pro-abortion politicians by making public appearances with them and sponsoring events for them, even in the Cathedral where the once-a-year pro-life Mass is said.
The Cardinal should also pledge his firm purpose of amendment to stop helping pro-aborts.
Disclaimer: No, I am not expecting these things to happen. But they sure ought to.