Pro-life supporters gather for celebration of life Mass

By Joyce Duriga | Editor
Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Pro-life supporters gather for celebration of life Mass

On March 7, 2021, Our Lady of Victory Church, 5212 W. Agatite Ave., joined the Archdiocese of Chicago in hosting a celebration of life Mass with Bishop Mark Bartosic to mark the closure of an abortion clinic near the church. The gathering was also a recommitment to continuing to press for protection of the unborn and all the vulnerable. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Father Michael Wyrzykowski, pastor, welcomes those attending the Mass. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Worshippers listen during Mass. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Bishop Bartosic kisses the book of the Gospels after the deacon proclaimed the Word. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Bishop Bartosic celebrates the liturgy of the Eucharist at Our Lady of Victory. He is vicar of Vicariate II, where the parish is located. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Worshippers wearing masks that say “Stand up for life” participate in the Mass. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Rich Wenzl, a pro-life advocate who regularly prays at abortion clinics, receives Communion from Bishop Bartosic. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)

On March 7, pro-life advocates joined members of Our Lady of Victory Parish for a Mass with Bishop Mark Bartosic to mark the January closing of an abortion clinic near the church and to celebrate the sanctity and dignity of all human life.

In his homily, Bishop Bartosic said that humans have a tendency to be “chicken-hearted.”

“Isn’t it true that so many of things that are sins against life, including abortion, come from being afraid?” he said. “They come from being so focused on ourselves and our own well-being that we’re tempted to sin in that light.”

The Gospels call us to be “bighearted” and “magnanimous” like God, he said.

“Bighearted in the sacrifice of welcoming children into the world,” he explained. “Bighearted in the sacrifice of seeing the poor, not just looking at them, because you can’t avoid that. Bighearted in the sacrifice of making room in a fabulously wealthy country for immigrants. Bighearted in the sacrifice of rethinking criminal justice in the light of the Gospel.”

At the end of his homily, Bishop Bartosic thanked all those who advocate for life on behalf of himself and Cardinal Cupich.

“Thanks to all who have spent much, much time in sacrifice and prayer for many years on Milwaukee Avenue, for that abortion clinic is no longer there,” he said. “One day your magnanimity, your bigheartedness will have its reward.”

The victory is always Christ’s and not ours, he said.

“In the meantime, let us beg the Lord to help us come together as Catholics to work together for all those whose voices are not heard,” he said

Our Lady of Victory has an engaged pro-life ministry along with its many other ministries.

“We merged with some forces in the community and would just engage in some outreach opportunities,” said Father Michael Wyrzykowski, pastor of the parish at 5212 W. Agatite Ave.

“One of them was holding prayer vigils in front of the facility. We spent time together praying the rosary and just giving witness to the people passing by or driving by that we were promoting this beautiful gift that each one of us received from God, the gift of life.”

Dawn Fitzpatrick, senior coordinator in the archdiocese’s Office of Human Dignity and Solidarity, noted that it was just not Our Lady of Victory parishioners who prayed and did outreach at the clinic, but many Catholics from across the archdiocese.

“From our baptism, God’s given us a charge to stand up for what’s right, to stand up for the voiceless, to be their voices,” Fitzpatrick said. “Certainly nobody has a quieter voice than a child in the womb. When we see an injustice, we’re called to stand up in whatever sense in all the life issues, but especially when we see the most vulnerable being wronged.”

Rich Wenzl, who regularly prayed outside the clinic on Milwaukee Avenue and prays outside clinics around Chicago, agreed.

“We have to take our church out to the people,” Wenzl said. “We come in here [church] to be formed so we can take it outside. We have to bring good to the world that we touch. Each one of us has to do our part in making that happen.”


  • pro-life

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