Members of the Knights of Columbus of Monmouth County hosted the April 15 Mass and Witness for Life.
Members of the Knights of Columbus of Monmouth County hosted the April 15 Mass and Witness for Life.

Advocates for life proclaimed their message in the public forum April 15 during a Mass celebrated in St. Anthony of Padua Church, Red Bank, followed by a march to a nearby Planned Parenthood facility.

PHOTO GALLERY: Red Bank Mass, Witness for Life

Organized by the Monmouth County Knights of Columbus, the event began with a Mass with Father Alberto W. Tamayo, pastor, as principal celebrant, while Father Richard Osborn, parochial vicar of St. James Parish, Red Bank, and Monmouth County respect life chaplain, was homilist.

“The more my life, your life, reflects the image and likeness of God, the more authentic and credible, a witness you will be,” said Father Osborn. “Be those disciples [Christ] sends out to go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel that Christ is risen and every human life is sacred and deserves protection.”

At the conclusion of Mass, about 150 faithful walked from the church to the Planned Parenthood facility in Shrewsbury, carrying “Choose Life” signs printed in English and Spanish, and praying the Rosary for the intentions of life. Returning to church grounds, the group enjoyed a barbeque hosted by the Knights.

“The Mass and witness for life is not important, it’s essential,” Father Osborn reflected, “because [it] is the fundamental human issue. We have a responsibility to pray and to advocate for the most needy and vulnerable in our society… Our people are so calm and prayerful, [which] reminds me we are on the correct side of this issue.”

Father Tamayo added, “It is extremely important right now with the end of Roe [v. Wade] that we do not become complacent or think that it is no longer necessary to peacefully witness to the value of every human life… We hope that the community in which we live realizes that we, as a Church, care about every human being from the moment of conception until natural death. God willing one day, New Jersey will join the growing list of states seeking to protect the lives of the unborn. Let’s pray for that conversion to happen soon.”

As Knights of Columbus Color Corps Commander, John Flynn, a district deputy in Monmouth County, was one of some two dozen uniformed men who led the procession to the Planned Parenthood facility. Flynn explained his participation, saying, “The core value of our faith is respect for life. As a Knight of Columbus it is a major focus.” Flynn added, “Most of the public [along the march] were positive and supportive.”

Knights of Columbus State Deputy, James E. Stoever, was among the marchers. He observed, “This Mass and the march that followed it are important because there is no greater gift from our creator than that of life. We need to continue to remind others of that in the hopes that one day these will be a celebration of life participated in by everyone instead of just those of a certain ideology."