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Bishop Paul S. Coakley, Bishop of Salina, KS

This morning (Saturday) I met our group of diocesan pilgrims and blessed them as they set out for Washington, D.C. and the March for Life.  I will join them there tomorrow.  On Monday hundreds more will travel to Topeka to participate in a rally for life at the state capitol.  By the time this issue of The Register is published all will be safely home again, please God.  This year, January 22 marks the thirty-fourth anniversary of Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy in the United States.  We have not forgotten.  We have not lost hope.

IT GIVES ME GREAT HOPE that so many of our youth are among the witnesses for life who come together in prayer and solidarity on behalf of the unborn.  These young people are not driven by ideologies or political agendas, but by a reverence and appreciation for the gift of life, pure and simple.   They bring a clear vision that too often becomes jaded with age, as we are seduced by a culture that values things over persons.  Youth will be in the forefront in building a culture of life and dismantling the prevailing anti-culture, the culture of death. 

A culture of life requires that we become good stewards of life.  Though it is indeed better to give than to receive, we have to learn to receive gratefully before we can give truthfully.  Our culture of death is fatally flawed because it has lost sight of the profoundly important truth that life is a gift from God.  The failure, or refusal, to receive life as a gift is at the heart of the culture of death, and its violent attacks on life through means as varied as euthanasia, capital punishment, and human cloning.  Life is taken for granted, literally.  This anti-culture betrays a grasping attitude, which uses, manipulates and discards life at will.    

OUR CULTURE desperately needs to recover a proper sense of stewardship.  Stewardship not only helps us stand truthfully before God as the loving source of life and everything that we have, but helps link us to those who have gone before and those who will come after us. As a steward I will recognize that it is not all about “me.”  We are members of the human family, of God’s family, and various communities.  As stewards we recognize our responsibilities to others, and our responsibility for the gifts we have received.  

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