Thanks given in LaSalle for Roe reversal, but prayer and work still needed

Alicia Garcia, 10, was among members of the St. Hyacinth Children's Choir lending their voices to the Mass in Thanksgiving for the Reversal of Roe v. Wade at St. Hyacinth Church in LaSalle on Jan. 24. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

LASALLE — The evening Mass at St. Hyacinth Church here on Jan. 24 was in thanksgiving for the U.S. Supreme Court’s reversal of the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion last June, so why was Father Tom Otto wearing purple vestments, a penitential color?

“There is hope. This is our message to the world,” said Father Tom Otto, pastor of the LaSalle Catholic Parishes, in his homily at the Jan. 24 Mass in Thanksgiving for the Reversal of Roe v. Wade celebrated at St. Hyacinth Church in LaSalle. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

“The overturning of the ruling does not mean that abortion is outlawed and that unborn children finally have the right to life in this country,” explained Father Otto, pastor of the LaSalle Catholic Parishes.

“Rather it means that each individual state can decide,” he continued, “and for us in the state of Illinois sadly that means things have gotten worse, and access to abortion has been made even more easily available. That the lives of unborn children who are precious in God’s eyes are disregarded and are thrown away and disposed of even more easily in the state of Illinois.”

Father Otto challenged area Catholics to increased prayer and fasting for women in crisis pregnancies; for unborn children whose lives are in danger; for the conversion and repentance of those in government and working at abortion facilities “who have gone so far astray as to not be able to see the preciousness of every child, especially the most vulnerable;” and for all wounded by the experience of past abortions.

He also encouraged support for pro-life women’s pregnancy centers offering “effective ways to help women choose life for their children when in crisis.” In a homily delivered in both English and Spanish, Father Otto cited two such area centers — the Abigail Women’s Center in Mendota and the Hope Life Center in Ottawa. A sheet listing additional educational and other pro-life resources was distributed at church entrances.


While lamenting that abortion is “allowed and celebrated” by some in our state, Father Otto’s theme was one of Christ-inspired hope.

“God’s light is greater than any darkness. We can’t fight violence with violence, but we fight relentlessly with hope.” — Father Tom Otto

“Our message is not a negative message, it is a wonderfully positive message,” he said. “That your life is precious and matters. That my life is precious and matters. That every person, from the moment of conception to natural death, is beyond worth.”

Two images in the church reinforced that positive message. One was the parish’s Nativity scene, which by tradition at St. Hyacinth remains displayed until the Feast of the Presentation on Feb. 2.

“How beautiful that we still have the image of this little child, the savior of the world, to reflect on,” said Father Otto, noting that Jesus was born “so vulnerable and so helpless, and yet so precious.”

The other image were the youthful faces and voices of the newly formed St. Hyacinth Children’s Choir, which helped lead music for the Mass.

“God’s light is greater than any darkness,” said Father Otto. “We can’t fight violence with violence, but we fight relentlessly with hope.”

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