Dear Sisters and Brothers,
This weekend, we remember as a nation Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a man of non-violence, a minister and preacher of overcoming racism and living in harmony because of the "content of our character." We pray and work that his dream may be realized.
On Monday, we will inaugurate President Obama for a second term and pray for him and the newly sworn in Congress that he and they will enact laws and carry out policies in our country that enhance the common good and protect the human person, and simultaneously work for a deepening of genuine peace founded on justice in the world at large.
On Tuesday, we will remember the somber 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision, Roe vs. Wade, that legalized abortion in our country, a decision that has unleashed the death of over 50 million unborn children, nameless to many but not to the Lord, and caused great brokenness to the mothers and fathers and extended families of those same children. The Gospels are exact in describing Jesus Christ's work beginning at his Baptism in the Jordan as bringing a new reconciliation that does not "break the bruised reed or extinguish the smoldering wick." The Catholic Church remembers January 22nd each year as a day of voluntary fast and abstinence; there is a special Mass in the Missal with its proper Scriptural Readings assigned for that day. I ask, most especially this year, that all of our priests, clergy, religious and faithful make a major effort to stop that day, to pray more fervently for a rebirth of a culture of life, to fast and abstain from food as a mark of solidarity for all those affected personally by the scourge of abortion, and to make space and time to participate in prayer at Mass.
May God's blessings descend mightily on our country that we will be promoters of peace, defenders of life for every person, and dedicated servants to the civil and religious liberty of all our citizens that has marked us as a nation from our beginnings.
May we continue to celebrate this Year of Faith by enhancing our knowledge of Faith and deepening our gaze at the face of Jesus Christ, God's mercy shown visibly to the world!
Sincerely in Christ,
Daniel Cardinal DiNardo
Archbishop of Galveston-Houston (2013)