Community members in support of life from Mt. Pleasant to Lexington, Gladwin to Birch Run, joined Bishop Robert Gruss to line Washington Ave. in downtown Saginaw, and walk in public witness for the sanctity of all human life.
They walked in solidarity with those at the national March for Life in Washington, D.C.
“I can’t help but to be inspired as we walk together in support of human life,” said Bishop Gruss to those gathered. “I can’t help but to be filled with great hope by what I have seen and experienced this morning. I am inspired and filled with hope because each one of you is a voice for the voiceless.”
Rally kicks off inaugural march
The local march began with a rally at Holy Family Church in Saginaw and included uplifting praise and worship music led by Roberta Conley, Father José Maria Cabrera and others.
Those gathered were led in prayer and invited to pause for a moment and thank God for the precious gift of their own life.
Pro-life speakers included mom of four, Mary Rathke, who shared her powerful personal testimony of being an adopted daughter whose birth mother had been raped. She described the pain of being labeled by some as the “daughter of a rapist,” but said she never allowed that label to define her. She said she found her image and identify in being a daughter of our Heavenly Father who can bring good from even the most unspeakable evil.
The March for Life in Saginaw began immediately following the rally and the large group braved light rain and cold temps as they held signs and marched down Washington Ave., to the Cathedral on Hoyt Ave.
The event concluded with Mass celebrated by Bishop Robert Gruss and a powerful call to live the Gospel of love.
Each person is a 'masterpiece of God’s creation'
“We must also remember that the Gospel of Jesus is not a Gospel of judgment," said Bishop Gruss in his homily message. “It’s a Gospel of love and mercy. The gospel of Jesus is about mercy. Mercy for the innocent and defenseless child in the womb, mercy for the frightened and overwhelmed mothers ... mercy for post-abortive mothers or fathers … mercy for abortion advocates … mercy for abortion clinic workers, volunteers and yes, even abortionists.
“In the end, judgement is about condemnation ... mercy is about love ... and love is what will heal this culture. It’s what will heal families … relationships … communities.
“So as we leave here today ... united in prayer with those participating in the March on Washington ... as we approach the Altar of Sacrifice where Jesus will give himself completely to us ... let us all renew our call to witness in our own way to the powerful and life-transforming love of Christ and to the respect and reverence that is due each person as an icon of Christ … as a masterpiece of God’s creation.”’