Cardinal O'Connor's Pro-life Legacy Felt at Funeral Mass
The funeral of Cardinal O'Connor in St. Patrick's Cathedral on Monday May 8
was a most solemn and inspiring event. Prior to the beginning of the Mass, many
reporters were asking me what his departure means for the pro-life movement. I
told them that although we will certainly feel his absence, it will in the long
run make us even more invigorated to carry on the work which he encouraged us to
Judging from what happened during the Mass, that did not take long to happen.
Bernard Cardinal Law, the Archbishop of Boston and a good friend of Cardinal
O'Connor, gave the homily, during which he pointed out the Cardinal's strong and
effective preaching of the Gospel of Life. Cardinal Law said, "What a great
legacy he has left us in his consistent reminder that the Church must always be
unambiguously pro-life". What immediately followed upon this comment was the
first and most sustained applause of the afternoon -- a vigorous applause which
got stronger over the several minutes which it lasted, and brought the entire
congregation to its feet.
To the Sisters of Life, founded by the Cardinal, to the Priests for Life,
which the Cardinal gave me the privilege to lead, and to the many faithful
pro-lifers who were present, that moment was one of both gratitude for his
leadership, and also of prophetic commitment: a statement that we will indeed,
together, carry forward this cause to which the Cardinal was so committed.
Fr. Frank Pavone