A FRANCISCAN MINISTRY
                                         with African American Families

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In Loving Memory of Sr. Bea

February 3, 2001

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

Blessed Assurance!

It is a joy for me to greet you on the occasion of Black History Month 2001 and on the eve of the National Day of Prayer for the African American Family.

Throughout this great month of our history, it is my prayer that we will not only celebrate our rich heritage, but renew our commitment to labor for life, justice and peace.  The African American community and the world need our witness.

As part of our Black History Month activities, The National Black Catholic Apostolate for Life is asking the Black community throughout this country to become vigilant “Defenders of Life.”

Our Holy Father Pope John Paul II has been outspoken throughout his papacy, challenging us to defend life whenever and wherever it is threatened.  During Black History Month let us embrace this challenge of the Holy Father and pray for life and defend the sacredness of life from the moment of conception to its natural end.  In the words of Cardinal-designate Edward M. Egan, Archbishop of New York, “Each person is called to ‘mighty deeds’ of prayer and many are led by God to specific action in defense of life.”

 

In the days and weeks to come, may we be found working against the violence that threatens life.  May we also ensure that every means necessary to preserve and enhance human life are available to all.

 

Hush, somebody’s calling my name to defend life and it sounds so much like Jesus.

 

Mary, Mother of Life, intercede for us.

 

With gratitude to God and the Mother of God,

Father James E. Goode, OFM