Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,
Just this past week I had the opportunity and blessing of visiting the La Habra Life Center with Fr. Ed Becker, the pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Habra. We were there to bless a new sonogram that will help the expecting mothers and their families see how their new baby is developing.
The dedication of the director, Meki Grothaus, her staff, and the Knights of Columbus was a blessing for all to see. Over the years, Meki and her staff have shown and given care and compassion again and again, both for preborn children and their families. We have so many other examples of such centers in our Diocese (such as the Obria clinics) who give a credible, compassionate and strong witness for life in the face of an often indifferent and hostile culture (as shown, for example, by Planned Parenthood).
As the time approaches for Marches for Life on the West Coast (San Francisco and Los Angeles) and on the East Coast (in Washington, D.C.) —because of the anniversary of Roe v. Wade — it is fitting that we should have the blessing of this ultrasound machine. So many of our young people, priests, religious and pro-life leaders and workers are present at these events that they give and show a resounding “YES” to life. I want to especially thank our Office of Respect Life, Justice and Peace for organizing our participation in “One Life LA” last weekend. Pope Francis has spoken about abortion a number of times, in the context of mercy, truth and even human “ecology” (in Laudato Si, for example). He recently said, “I was thinking on the attitude of sending the kids back before they’re born, this horrendous crime, they send them back because it’s better like that, it’s a great responsibility—a very grave sin.”
He has also shown the mercy of God by extending the faculty to all priests to lift the penalty of excommunication involved with abortion for all involved (which has been the custom, in fact, in the United States already for many years).
Thanks to all involved in our Diocese in the apostolic work and ministry of “Respect Life” in so many ways, great and small.
Wishing a blessed new year to all.
+ The Most Rev. Kevin W. Vann, Bishop of Orange