Monday, 26 March 2012

Feast of the Annunciation:remembering the unborn child

And in Adelaide, Archbishop Wilson has declared that this feast will be a special Day of the Unborn each year in the diocese. 

His letter on the subject says:

“The great Feast of the Annunciation celebrates the conception of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit and the ‘Yes”’of Mary to God’s invitation. Through Mary’s self-giving, Jesus came into the world to reveal to us the face of God and to be our Salvation. In our time when there are debates about when life begins, this day reminds us that the life of Jesus as Incarnate Word began at the moment of conception. This feast day reminds us that the beginning of all new life, occurs in the everyday miracle of conception, just as it was with Jesus’ conception.

Not all news of pregnancy however, is received with joy. For some people this news creates great anxiety and we must, as a community of faith, find ways to support women and men who find themselves in this situation. I also hear many stories of women who still continue to experience grief or guilt about the child they aborted. It is not uncommon for women to suffer many years after they have had an abortion, and this apparent choice does not always lead to freedom in the end.

Families who lose a child during pregnancy through miscarriage or stillbirth, or a baby soon after birth, know this is one of the greatest pains a family can experience. This pain can continue for many years and can become a silent pain, carried in the hearts of the parents.

Therefore, to assist us as a Church to express our delight in the promise of new life, our compassion for those who suffer any form of child-bearing loss and our reparation for the loss of the lives of aborted babies, today I announce that a special Day of the Unborn will be celebrated in the Archdiocese every year on the Feast of the Annunciation.

We pray for the children whose lives have been lost through miscarriage, stillbirth, or other difficulties.

We pray with great sadness for all those babies who have been aborted, and express our sadness that they never lived the life their conception promised. We pray for their parents. I want you to know that God always offers healing and forgiveness and I invite you to come to the Sacrament of Reconciliation which can provide some comfort and healing of any grief and guilt you may carry over your decision to abort your baby. We pray for the children who were placed for adoption. We pray that the love of their adopted parents can help them through any feelings of uncertainty about their adoption.

As well as the loss of children in the early stages of life, I also wish today to remember those who have lost children at any stage of their life. Our Mother Mary, who also suffered the loss of the child she bore and raised, understands your pain and grief. May she bring you comfort. My dear people, we know so well the absolute joy that the news of conception of a new child brings to our families, our community and our Church. May this joyous welcome be the right of every child conceived, and may those who face serious challenges in having a baby be loved and supported by a community of faith that values them and every life as precious to God.”

1 comment:

A Canberra Observer said...

A good development.

An improvement on his predecessor whose annual [and only] marking the rights of the unborn on December 28, feast of the Holy Innocents. The trouble with that was that, because of the Australian Christmas shutdown, it was effectively unknown by either Catholics or non-Catholics.