Remembering the unborn lost to abortion

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Massgoers place flowers and 74 candles on the steps of St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney, on August 29. The candles represented the average number of unborn children lost to abortion each day in NSW. PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli

We will never know their names, but they will not be forgotten.

The children lost each day to abortion in NSW were remembered at the Memorial Mass for the Unborn at St Mary’s Cathedral last night presided by Sydney Auxiliary Bishop Tony Randazzo.

Bishop Randazzo welcomed the more than 800 men, women and students, in particular “all who grieve, are suffering, and in pain” due to abortion, who attended the Mass.

At the conclusion, the cathedral was darkened for 74 seconds of silent prayer and 74 candles were placed on the cathedral steps to symbolise the average number of lives lost to abortion in NSW each day.

Transitional Deacon Ronnie Maree, who delivered the homily, reflected on the ultimate tragedy and futility of the social-media fuelled ‘shout your abortion’ movement to promote acceptance of abortion.

“Reading them, the pain and trauma in people’s stories is quite clear in spite of their stated belief that their abortion was good for them,” he said.

PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli

“Behind this need to ‘shout’ is the lie that the only reason abortion is a negative experience at all is due to the social stigma; that if we only shout loud enough that abortion is good everyone will think it is good and normal and all the negative aspects will fade away.

“But the wounds of abortion aren’t only found in the social stigma, but also in the loss of a human life.”

As Christians, he said, we know that our “shout” for all those affected by the pain of abortion “will never fall on deaf ears but will be heard by our merciful Father”.

More than 100 senior students from Sydney Catholic Schools attended a catechesis and Q & A session with pro-life advocates director of LifeNET New Zealand Brendan Malone, director of Life Choice Australia Rebecca Gosper, and director of the Culture Project Australia Frances Hopkins in the cathedral crypt prior to the Mass.

Mr Malone challenged the students to look beyond simple pro- or anti-abortion and euthanasia rhetoric and begin to advance a culture of life in their everyday living.

Bishop Tony Randazzo places a candle after praying for all those hurt by abortion. PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli

“Go from here and do one thing that promotes and respects the dignity of every human being, particularly the vulnerable and voiceless,” he said.

Ms Gosper spoke of the power of friendship and awareness of the resources available to overcome the fear and distress of an unexpected pregnancy.

“Be that friend who says, ‘You’re not alone, I’ll be with you and you can do this’.”

Year 11 representatives of St Mary MacKillop Catholic College, Wakeley, said the evening opened their eyes to “such a beautiful way the Catholic Church reaches out to anyone suffering because of an abortion”.

“People might feel they can’t reach out to the Church if they had an abortion or were thinking of having one because they were too young, or because their family or maybe the father would have rejected them, but in fact there is a lot of compassion and help available.”

Organised by the Life, Marriage & Family Centre, the memorial Mass is one of several annual events at the cathedral designed to support people in their journey through life.

They include the Annual Mass for Pregnant Women and the Annual Mass for the Renewal of Marriage Vows.