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Protecting all life

Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Patrick,

We often hear of the changing of seasons and times. In fact, some of our prayers directly associated with the celebration of Eucharist make reference to this in the sacred liturgy. This is because a particular season can present specific needs. For example, winter in northeast Ohio raises awareness of our homeless population who rely on the expansion of provisional shelters. Summer’s heat makes us aware of agricultural challenges as adequate supplies of water become scarce or dangers imposed upon our elderly when excessive heat threatens their safety. Even the needs of domestic animals are considered as evidenced by water bowls and mini cooling pools are put out in front of homes and local establishments.

One of the wonderful virtues most evident in our near west side community is neighbors’ deep concern for those who are most vulnerable. The level of concern and advocacy is obvious. Regardless of one’s faith or philosophical convictions, people truly care.

In this 2023 Season of Creation we’re being asked to consider a particular need confronting vulnerable members of our community: the unborn and their mothers.

This November 7th Ohio citizens are being asked to Vote on Issue 1. The Catholic Conference of Ohio is urging us to vote NO on Issue 1 as it would endanger the health and safety of women, threaten parental rights, and potentially allow for abortion through all nine months of pregnancy. In Laudato si’, Pope Francis’ encyclical, an important connection between our Care for God’s Creation and our defense of all human life is also made clear.

Since everything is interrelated, concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion. How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is uncomfortable and creates difficulties? (Ls’ no. 120)

Indeed, we have much work to do as we explore ways to further reduce carbon emissions, find alternative materials to replace tons of items destined for landfills, and establish systems that integrate conservation with collective habits found in daily life. Whether one believes all of the specific theories leading to global warming, or not, the call for good stewardship can only help improve our respective local, regional, and global communities.

We talk about our “throw away” culture contributing to the many ills we are experiencing. Let’s just be sure that we’re creating solutions that do not discard the treasures found in every human life.

Yours in Christ Our Life,

Fr. Gurnick