By NICHOLE GOLDEN, Staff Writer | Published January 12, 2017
ATLANTA—The 28th annual Mass for the Unborn in Atlanta will be celebrated Monday, Jan. 23, at the Cathedral of Christ the King followed by an event of public witness, Stand for Life.
Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory will be principal celebrant of the Mass, which begins at 10 a.m. The cathedral is located at 2699 Peachtree Road, NE, Atlanta.
School and parish groups gather each year to remember the Jan. 22 anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion. The Office of Life, Dignity and Justice and the Respect Life Ministry of the archdiocese sponsor the Mass and Stand for Life.
During Stand for Life, which will be held from 11:30 a.m. to noon, participants will hold prepared signs along Peachtree Road promoting the sanctity of life.
“We’re hoping for good weather. It’s always a great witness for life,” said Brendan Dudley, director of the Respect Life Ministry.
This year, the Stand for Life route has been shortened by a half-mile and will extend from the cathedral to the 2900 block of Peachtree Road. Groups will not be assigned any specific location along the road as in previous years.
A reception of light refreshments will be offered in the cathedral’s Kenny Hall from noon to 1 p.m.
All are welcome to attend the events, and Dudley hopes they will become more ecumenical in focus.
Georgia Catholics will also be taking part in the National March for Life and related events Thursday and Friday, Jan. 26 and 27, in Washington, D.C. The events are being held later in the month than usual due to the presidential inauguration Jan. 20.
“We have approximately 300 people attending the youth rally and Mass for Life,” said Dudley.
The youth rally and Mass precede the March for Life Jan. 27. In addition to the march, Dudley will attend the March for Life conference and expo Jan. 26 and the Rose Dinner with keynote speaker Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York on the evening of Jan. 27. Cardinal Dolan is chairman of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities.
Dudley said local groups traveling to the nation’s capital include contingents from Blessed Trinity High School in Roswell, Holy Spirit Prep School in Atlanta, Our Lady of Mercy High School in Fayetteville, Pinecrest Academy in Cumming, and St. Pius X High School in Atlanta, as well as parish groups from St. Bernadette Church in Cedartown, St. Michael the Archangel Church in Woodstock, and St. Michael Church in Gainesville.
The Gainesville parishioners will attend the Mass for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. with celebrant Cardinal Dolan. Led by Tony Maturo, the parish’s respect life chair, the group will visit U.S. senators and participate in the rally and March for Life.
“The March for Life in D.C. is a profound opportunity to see the diversity of ages and backgrounds all dedicated to upholding the dignity of human life from conception to natural death,” said Dudley.
The theme of the 2017 event is “The Power of One.” He has noticed from attending past marches, as organizers have also indicated, that the participants in the March for Life are becoming younger in demographics.
Dudley said one sees the joyful participation of younger people and the more solemn, quiet observances of religious congregations.
“You would notice a variety of avenues for showing respect for life,” he said.
For more information on the March for Life in Washington, D.C. and related events, visit www.marchforlife.org.