From Father Matthew's Desk
St. Francis Feast Day Events—It is always a great joy to celebrate the Blessing of Animals for St. Francis' feast day. Our celebration here will be on Saturday, October 2 at 12:30 pm.
There will also be events hosted by the Capuchins at St. Bernard and St. Thomas More—Animal Blessing at STMUP on Sunday, October 3 at 2:00 pm, and a Mass for the Feast Day of St. Francis at St. Bernard Church on Monday, October 4 at 6:30 pm followed by a reception.
Respecting Life—There are two timely notes concerning respecting life at all stages:
PA March for Life: On Monday, September 27, people from all across Pennsylvania will gather in Harrisburg to advocate for an end to legalized abortion in Pennsylvania. As Catholics, we are called to oppose every violation of human life and human dignity, even when civil law and popular opinion may permit it.
Petitioning Pharmaceutical Companies on COVID Vaccines—One of the largest points of frustration among Catholics concerning the COVID-19 vaccines has been the use of aborted fetal stem cells in the production and/or testing of the vaccines. It has even led some to conclude, based on conscience, to refrain from receiving any of the presently-available vaccines. Although the Church has stated that it is licit to use the COVID vaccines, it asserts that this "does not and should not in any way imply that there is a moral endorsement of the use of cell lines proceeding from aborted fetuses" (CDF Note, Dec. 2020).
Pharmaceutical companies have a moral obligation to produce ethically acceptable vaccines—and we in turn have an obligation to petition those companies to produce them. This is particularly true for those of us who have chosen to receive one of the available vaccines. The USCCB has provided templates of letters to make these petitions easier (including providing mailing addresse—these can be found at www.usccb.org/resources/letters-pharmaceutical-companies, and some hard copy letters will be available in the Church narthex for the companies that provide the major 3 vaccines available in our area (Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson). Please take the time to make your voices heard by any or all of these companies. It is a small action, but one that reaffirms our commitment to protecting all human life.