Peoria Mass focuses on prayer for the legal protection of the unborn
Praying for the legal protection of the unborn is what brought people to St. Joseph Church in Peoria on Jan. 23. What they took away was the determination to keep praying for the children and their mothers, and for the conversion of those who promote abortion.
“As we enter into these sacred mysteries we know that it is for a very somber reason,” said Father Bill Miller, pastor and longtime chair of the Diocesan Respect Life Board. “This date is the one closest to the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Of course, we give thanks and praise to God for what seemed so unlikely, that it would be overturned and we would live to see it.”
“Imagine what would happen if every Christian — even if just every Catholic Christian — was united on upholding the sanctity of human life and the legal protection of the unborn and care for their mothers. It would transform everything.” — Father Bill Miller
The battle over abortion has been returned to the states, Father Miller said, noting that Illinois is “so anti-life, a place where the unborn are very much in danger, a place where our tax dollars are being used to kill the unborn.”
Satan loves to divide and conquer and it is the issue of abortion that he has used to divide Christians and even Catholics, according to Father Miller.
“Imagine what would happen if every Christian — even if just every Catholic Christian — was united on upholding the sanctity of human life and the legal protection of the unborn and care for their mothers,” he said. “It would transform everything.”
DON’T GIVE UP
Father Miller reminded them that the Word of God tells us that Satan is a liar and a murderer. Nowhere else do those two things come together like abortion, in which lies lead poor expectant mothers to take that terrible path, he said.
“We know that those who are promoters of abortion are not content with trying to keep it legal. Those who support the unborn and their mothers are now more and more under attack,” Father Miller said.
So prayers are needed not only for the legal protection of the unborn, but also for those who try to defend the unborn, he urged his listeners. That includes every doctor, nurse and health care worker that society is trying to force into assisting with abortions.
“The reason we keep coming back . . . is because we know the Lord is going to be victorious. We are all on the side of life and we must be ready and willing to continue to suffer and to work and to pray,” Father Miller said.
He asked them to pray in a specific way for three pregnant women whose own mothers were trying to force them to have abortions.
“Pray that those expectant mothers and their unborn babies will be rescued. Pray for the conversion of those mothers’ mothers to see what they are doing,” he said.
Father Miller also asked those present to offer their Communion that night for those who are Catholic but support abortion.
“Pray for their conversion of mind and heart so they can join us in upholding and protecting the least, the little ones,” he said.
The readings and music for the Mass were offered in English and Spanish, with Cecilia Siberon-Soñé proclaiming the first reading in Spanish. Former director of Respect Life Ministry for the Diocese of Peoria, she now works as a family nurse practitioner specializing in women’s health and naprotechnology at the OSF HealthCare Galesburg Clinic.
Concelebrating with Father Miller was Father John Verrier, pastor at St. Joseph in Brimfield and St. James in Williamsfield, and spiritual director of the Christ Child Society of Central Illinois. He also assists with Rachel’s Vineyard retreats for women and men who have been affected by abortion.