PROVIDENCE — Many gathered to renew their commitment to life as the Diocese of Providence Office of Life and Family held the annual Human Life Guild Mass on Saturday, Oct. 16 at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul.
The Mass was a chance to give thanks to God for the gift of human life. Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, who served as main celebrant and homilist, said that the Human Life Guild Mass is also an opportunity to renew a promise to promote, preserve and defend human life.
“Your commitment to life is always very encouraging,” Bishop Tobin said. “You’re so good and so faithful to the cause and we are very grateful for all that you do.”
Bishop Tobin reminded those gathered that the U.S. bishops have said that St. Joseph is a perfect model for Respect Life Month because he is the perfect protector of Jesus and Mary.
“Let us go to Joseph and be inspired by him, be inspired by his faith, his trust and his prayer,” he said. “If we do that we know that God will be with us every step of the way. Just as he was with St. Joseph every step of the way.”
Following the celebration of Mass was the presentation of the 2021 Human Life Guild Awards. Lisa Cooley, coordinator of the diocesan Office of Life and Family introduced the four recipients: Joseph Lofgren, of St. Luke Parish; Caroline Dooley, of St. Barnabas; Zofia Grzegorzewsa, of St. Philip; and Mia Biagetti, of St. Luke.
“Joe Lofgren is a role model, promoting the Gospel of Life in all criteria categories,” said Cooley. He is a daily communicant and a regular participant and recruiter of men in the 40-Days-for-Life Providence Campaign to pray the Rosary in front of Planned Parenthood. He attends Holy hours for life including Our Lady of Guadalupe and National Day of Remembrance of Aborted Babies prayer vigils.
Lofgren shared that he was stunned when he found out about the award and said that he tries to have a loving approach when helping others understand the importance of defending the unborn.
“To me it’s a no brainer — we’re talking about a person. I’m not out to make anyone feel bad at all, I’m just trying to help them understand that this is a real human being and that we need to abolish abortion and hopefully the Supreme Court will do that this year.”
Grzegorzewsa is a long-time active participant for life issues, said Cooley.
“Zofia puts great trust in the hands of our wonderful Lord, and she exemplifies the words of St. John Paul II, ‘Do not be afraid,’ she said of the winner. “Zofia is willing to testify in front of the R.I. House of Representatives or Senate on life issues.”
Biagetti is the recipient of the Human Life Guild Youth Award. She has been an altar server at St. Luke’s since she was in 5th grade, has made baby blankets for St. Gabriel’s Call baby showers and is becoming increasingly involved in areas of pro-life advocacy.
“She is a bright young leader who promotes the sanctity and dignity of all human life through her actions,” said Cooley.
Dooley told Rhode Island Catholic that she has been inspired by many of Rhode Island’s pro-life leaders and is grateful for the support of her parish.
“I have a wonderful committee at St. Barnabas. When I come up with ideas they encourage me to make it happen and we work together. It’s really wonderful and I am very honored to receive this award.”
Cooley added that her passion for education on the message of the sanctity of life is in the forefront of Dooley’s thoughts and ideas and she uses every situation to teach young people in her charge about what is involved in helping women to choose life.
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