Acknowledging that the battle to support life in this post-Roe era continues, the Diocese of Trenton will present the second “Standing Together for Life” Mass, luncheon and seminar Jan. 19 at the Co-Cathedral of St. Robert Bellarmine, 61 Georgia Rd, Freehold. Sponsored by the diocesan Department of Evangelization and Family Life/Respect Life Ministry, the event will begin with a Mass for Life with Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., at 11 a.m. in the church, followed by a luncheon and seminar from 12:15-4 p.m. in Dentici Hall.
“We are holding the Standing Together for Life events for the second year in a row to provide an opportunity for Catholics in the Diocese of Trenton who want to do something in support of building a culture of life but are not traveling to the national March for Life in Washington D.C.,” explained Terry Ginther, chancellor and executive director of the Office of Pastoral Life and Mission. “For 50 years the focus was at the national level. However, the Dobbs decision (2022) overturning Roe vs. Wade changed the focus to highlight the importance of the reality ‘on the ground’ in each state.
“Last year’s conference really emphasized that the work of building a culture of life will take all of us; everyone has to do their part, and we need to find ways to work together,” Ginther continued. “This year, the focus is on the how. How can we pursue all four pillars in the U.S. bishops’ plan: prayer, education, outreach and advocacy? How can we work together? It will be practical in nature.”
She added that the Diocese was not trying to discourage people from participating in the National March for Life.
“It is our intention to supplement that effort, by gathering together those who remain in the diocese in an act of solidarity and common purpose,” she said.
Rachel Hendricks, coordinator of the diocesan Respect Life Ministry, said: “We realized that building a culture of life in New Jersey would require pro-life ministry folks to find new ways to collaborate with others in our parishes to better serve pregnant girls and women in our neighborhoods. With society now in the post-Roe era, speakers will address the complexities of the abortion issue and urge attendees to move forward in a new way, avoiding politics and division and focusing on common goals.”
Speakers will include:
Jim King, executive director, New Jersey Catholic Conference.
Susan Loughery, associate executive director of operations, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton.
Linda Dix, parish ministry leader at Our Lady of Good Counsel, Moorestown.
Enza Cerami, founder and director of Living Stones, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to proclaiming God’s call to authentic love through the teaching of St. John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body.”
Jennifer Maher, psychotherapist and adjunct faculty member at Divine Mercy University, Sterling, Va. She specializes in working with survivors of sexual trauma.
Advance registration is required for the lunch and seminar. For further information and to register, see dioceseoftrenton.org/standing-together-for-life.