By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — “All lives matter,” Father Chuck Adam said during a Mass at Christ the King Chapel that was part of a pro-life celebration. Lives matter from conception to natural death, continued Fr. Adam, chaplain and campus minister at St. Ambrose University, where the Black and White Gala was held Aug. 14. He encouraged those in attendance to pray for students at St. Ambrose and across the county and for people everywhere.
“It seems very appropriate that this year’s gala Mass on the Vigil of the Solemnity of the Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated today.” He pointed out that Mary said yes to carrying Jesus. “She was especially blessed because she, in fact, carried the Word within her womb.”
Acting upon the Word means making room for all those on the margins of life, Fr. Adam said. “That includes the unborn, but also those at the end of life and at every stage of human life in between. Acting upon the Word means that our commitment to life is not only to end abortion but also to overcome poverty, hunger, homelessness and substandard education and healthcare. It means to work for a peace that prevents war. Making room for God, as the Blessed Mother did, today means for us to welcome the refugee, the person on skid row, as well as the person on death row.”
Pope Francis reminds us that to be pro-life requires more than just giving ourselves a name badge or political label. “It means building a culture of life through the ways in which we treat one another,” Fr. Adam noted.
The solemnity of Mary’s assumption is first and foremost a celebration of hope. It celebrates Christ’s victory over sin and death.
“May this hope, the hope held out by the Gospel, the hope we celebrate tonight, inspire renewed commitment to making room for Christ for creating a culture of life.”
After Mass, attendees followed the Knights of Columbus and a bagpiper as they walked from the chapel to the Rogalski Center. On the center’s second floor, participants picked up “baby bucks” for the silent auction, along with name tags and bidding numbers. On the third floor they viewed displays at life ministry tables while piano music played in the background. Tables with silent auction items lined the outer walls of the ballroom. Items included handmade clothing, purses, a University of Notre Dame tailgate basket and artwork.
Robert Budd of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Bettendorf said the event is a good cause. He has attended every event since its beginning at Lourdes. Joyce Hammes, also of Lourdes, said she is involved in the pro-life movement in all facets of life. “We need to help everyone.”
Charlene Merritt, an organizer, said the gala has outgrown most of the parish halls in the Davenport Deanery so the event was moved to St. Ambrose, which had plenty of room for the 225 guests.
The gala raised about $10,000 for life ministries in the Quad City area.
Merritt is excited to see more parishes joining in the planning each year. Regarding the pro-life movement, she said, “You can see the excitement about life here. You can see you are not alone and can connect and communicate with each other here.”
Maureen Mosse of Our Lady of Victory Parish in Davenport helped with last year’s event as her parish was one of the sponsors. This year she helped with decorations.
“Thirty-one years ago we adopted a baby,” she said. The pro-life movement “is a passion I believe in.”