By Anne Marie Amacher
DAVENPORT — Life comes from God and is holy. Human life is our first gift from God, said Bishop Martin Amos during a pro-life Mass celebrated June 10 at St. Paul the Apostle Church. Around 100 people attended the evening Mass and then promoted pro-life efforts with a Black and White Gala in the parish’s Denning Hall. Seven priests joined Bishop Amos in kicking off the evening, a fundraising event in which proceeds from the gala benefit pro-life ministries in the Quad-City area.
“We speak of human beings as being body and soul,” the bishop said in his homily. He referred to the ancient word “ru’ah,” which means life-breath. He talked about the story of creation in the Book of Genesis and how God breathed into Adam his own life-breath. The ancient people believed that “when God withdrew the life-breath, the plants, the animals, the human beings died. But the life-breath belonged to God.”
Bishop Amos said “we come together this evening to rededicate ourselves to public information and education to deepen our understanding of the sanctity of human life and the humanity of unborn children — the moral evil of intentionally killing innocent human beings whether at the beginning of life or at its end.”
He urged all to rededicate themselves to pastoral care for women with problems related to pregnancy; for those involved in abortion; for those who are disabled, sick and dying, as well as their families and caregivers; for those who have lost loved ones in violent crimes; for those in prison sentenced to death.
“We rededicate ourselves to public policy efforts directed to restoring legal protection to the lives of the unborn children and those vulnerable to pressures to end their lives by assisted suicide and to providing morally acceptable alternatives to abortion and assisted suicide.
“We rededicate ourselves to prayer and worship — that the culture of death that surrounds us today will be replaced by a culture of life and love.”
The bishop emphasized the Pastoral Plan for Pro-life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and asked people to pray and to dedicate themselves to defending human life. Only with prayer – prayer that storms the heavens for justice and mercy, prayer that cleans hearts and souls — will the culture of death in today’s society be replaced by a culture of life, he quoted the U.S. bishops.
He talked about accomplishments that have been achieved and emphasized that “much has been done and much remains to be done.”
Following Mass, Bishop Amos greeted pro-life supporters before heading to Denning Hall for the Black and White Gala. Many who attended the Mass also attended the gala that included an auction and light dinner.
Maggie Schoonmaker said the Mass and fundraiser were for a great cause — that is why she and her husband were attending from Christ the King Parish in Moline, Ill. Their children attended the Mass with the couple.
“There is nothing more important than life,” her husband Kevin added.
Karl Lantzky of St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Davenport said it is important to show support and protect the unborn. “It was important that we come together as a community.”