Holy Family leads Pro-life service to celebrate life
By RENEE WEBB, Globe editor
April 28, 2005
Celebrating life was the main focus of the pro-life prayer service held April
22 at Trinity Heights in Sioux City. The service, held in the Marian Center due
to cool temperatures, was facilitated by the Holy Family Cluster Parish
Religious Education Program.
Mary Kay Daniels, DRE for the Holy Family Cluster in Sioux City, in the
opening reflection asked those gathered to enter their hearts into a quiet,
sacred place. She read a Scripture verse by St. Paul to the Ephesians 1:3-6 that
centered on his reflection and understanding of who Christ was at the creation
and his conversion to the Holy Trinity.
In part the verse says, "...he chose us in him, before the foundation of
the world. In love he destined us for adoption to himself to be holy and without
blemish before him."
Daniels said the Scripture is special because it points out that people were
thought of even before time began - God had a plan for each person even before
they were born.
"Taking this eternal perspective creates so much more meaning in life -
to know that we are coming out of God's love," she said. "At this
moment, we are incarnated and we are living in the Holy Trinity. The Holy
Trinity is not something that we look out there for - it's in each one of us.
When we talk about the sanctity of life and the specialness of life, what's so
incredible is that God lives inside of us."
Daniels said it was God's plan for people to live in God, people would
celebrate their relationship with God and would work to create a world of
justice, peace and goodness.
Throughout the service, several catechists and students ranging from
kindergartners to tenth grade played a role.
Students in kindergarten through third grade were called forward to listen to
the story Angel in the Waters by Regina Doman. Catechist Stephanie Henry,
kindergarten catechist, read this book that was built upon a baby's experience
in the womb. Next, the kindergarteners sang songs that celebrated life - Special
Me and Love Grows.
Daniels then presented short essays from the religious education students
relating to what they treasured most about life. Responses ranged from families
and friends to chocolate pie.
Ann Trudo and fourth-grade students led a Litany on Behalf of the Children.
Intercessions and the presentation of a large poster display highlighting the
culture of life followed.
Two tenth graders, Michelle Norton and Julie Nguyen, were called forward and
were given roses. Father Michael Erpelding, co-pastor at St. Boniface Church in
Sioux City, accompanied the students to the Circle of Life where the roses were
placed on the Tomb of the Unborn. He led the two students in a short prayer as
the crowd inside the Marian Center recited the rosary, led by catechists.
Another sophomore, Chris Vore, offered his thoughts on what life means to
him. He pointed out that some people choose abortion, but as a Catholic he said
he believes that everyone has a right to live.
As the service closed, before leading the closing prayer Father Erpelding
extended thanks to Trinity Heights for inviting the religious education program
to facilitate the pro-life prayer service. He also expressed appreciation to
Daniels and the catechists for their work with the students.
"How appropriate with the beginning of spring and new life, to see this
marvelous example of new life - our young people - express their joy in life.
It's absolutely marvelous," said Larry Walsh, a member of the spiritual
life committee at Trinity Heights.
He offered thanks and appreciation to all of the people involved in the
After the program, catechist Stephanie Henry said it was a nice service.
"I was really glad that we could have so many children present and they
were able to help with the program," she said.
Father Erpelding was also pleased with the turnout by the students and their
"It was a great showing. I was so proud that so many could come out
tonight on this cold evening where we warmed each others hearts with prayer -
the prayer for life," he said.