WASHINGTON (January 7, 2002) -- Thousands of Catholics from across the country will gather in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for the Vigil Mass for Life and National Prayer Vigil for Life on January 21, the eve of the 29th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.
Many other pro-life events will be held in the Washington area, January 21-22, 2002.
The Vigil Mass for Life and National Prayer Vigil for Life are sponsored by the Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the Catholic University of America, and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Also assisting is the organization Seminarians for Life International.
Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, Archbishop of Philadelphia and Chairman of the USCCB Committee for Pro-Life Activities, will be the principal celebrant and homilist at the Vigil Mass for Life. This Mass will be celebrated in the Great Upper Church at 8 p.m. on Monday, January 21.
Mothers of Mary will lead a Rosary for Life in the Crypt Church at 10:30 p.m. At 11:30 p.m., night prayer celebrated according to the Byzantine Liturgy will be led by Most Reverend Andrew Pataki, Bishop of the Byzantine Catholic Diocese of Passaic of the Ruthenians, with members of the Epiphany of Our Lord Byzantine Church, Annandale, Virginia.
Holy Hours led by Seminarians for Life International will begin at Midnight and end at 6:30 a.m..
The Basilica and the Catholic University of America will allow pilgrims to stay the night on Jan. 21. A complimentary breakfast will be available in the morning.
Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington, will be the principal celebrant at a concelebrated Eucharistic Liturgy in the Great Upper Church at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, January 22.
A number of Masses and youth rallies will be sponsored by the Archdiocese of Washington and the Diocese of Arlington, January 22. They include:
- 9:45 a.m.-12 noon: St. Matthew's Cathedral, 1725 Rhode Island Ave., N.W. Bishop Michael A. Saltarelli of Wilmington will be the celebrant. There will be a rally with Father Stan Fortuna, followed by a youth Mass. Information: 202-347-3215.
- 9:45 a.m.- 12 noon: St. Stephen Martyr Church, 2436 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W. Washington Auxiliary Bishop Leonard J. Olivier, SVD, will be the celebrant. There will be a rally with Jason Everett, followed by a youth Mass. information: 301-853-4555.
- 10:00 a.m.: Cathedral of St. Thomas More, Arlington. Most Reverend Paul S. Loverde, Bishop of Arlington, will be the celebrant. Information: 703-841-2550.
- 10:30 a.m: St. Patrick's Church, 10th and G Sts., N.W. There will be a Mass for Seminarians sponsored by the Respect Life Committee, St. Joseph Seminary, New York. Information: Patrick Buckley: 914-968-6200 x. 8-8006.