Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
19 Mar 2015
19 Mar 2015
In previous years Auxiliary Bishops for the Archdiocese, the Most Rev Julian Porteous, who is now Archbishop of Hobart, and Bishop Terry Brady have led the procession. But this year Sydney's Archbishop, the Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP who was installed last November, will celebrate Mass for the Unborn Child at St Mary's Cathedral and then lead the procession through the CBD.
"On average each year depending on the weather between 2500 to 3000 join the procession. But this year with Archbishop Anthony leading the procession, even though rain is forecast, we think the numbers will be at a record level and may even exceed 4000," says Paul Hanrahan, Executive Director of Family Life International which helps organise the Mass for the Unborn Child and the rosary procession each year in collaboration with the Archdiocese of Sydney's Life Marriage and Family Centre.
A leader and author in the field of bioethics, Archbishop Anthony was the founding Director of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family.
"He has been a strong advocate for God's precious gift of life and was a member of various Pro-Life groups campaigning against abortion when he was still a still a law student at the University of Sydney and before he entered the legal profession or began to discern his vocation as a priest," Paul says.
Each year in Australian more than 100,000 unborn children are aborted, losing their chance at life.
Each year the Day of the Unborn Child is celebrated on the nearest Sunday to the Feast of the Annunciation on 25 March. One of the most important Feasts in the Catholic liturgical calendar, the Feast of the Annunciation commemorates the day the Holy Virgin was visited by the Angel Gabriel and told that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus Christ, son of God.
Paul says the Feast of the Annunciation is the ideal time to remember and pray for the unborn child, particularly as we are now entering the final weeks of Lent.
Since the start of Lent, Paul and members of Family Life International as well as all those who believe in the sanctity of life have gathered to pray each day on the corner opposite Sydney's oldest and best known Preterm abortion clinic in Surry Hills as part of the annual 40 Days for Life prayer vigil.
Following Sunday's Mass for the Unborn Child which will be celebrated at St Mary's Cathedral at 10.30 am by Archbishop Anthony, the Archbishop will lead the praying of the Angelus after which he will walk in front of the procession down through the CBD and then back up to Macquarie Street to the NSW Parliament where different speakers will celebrate the sanctity of each and every human life, and the pray for the Unborn Child.
The procession will then return to the Cathedral for Benediction.