CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 17 November 2018

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Pancake Mass saves lives

SYDNEY (SE): The annual Pancake Mass was celebrated at St. Peter’s parish in Surry Hills, an inner suburb of Sydney, Australia, to mark the beginning of the 40-Days for Life Lenten Campaign in Sydney archdiocese on Shrove Tuesday, February 13.

“Each year the launch gets bigger and so does the pancake production,” the coordinator of the event, Maria Campos, remarked.

The launch begins with Mass at 6.00pm and is followed by a candlelight procession through the inner city streets in memory of the millions of children who have died before ever seeing the light of day.

The procession is followed by benediction of the blessed sacrament and then, in the old European tradition of the vigil of Ash Wednesday, a feast of pancakes before the 40-day penitential season begins.

The 40-Days for Life Campaign is a non-stop pro-life vigil in which participants fast and pray for an end to abortion. Organisers of this year’s launch were gearing up to make over 2,000 pancakes for the occasion.

Not only the babies and parents are prayed for, but also abortionists and medical staff, politicians, teachers and the whole of society.

Bishop Julian Porteous, the patron of the campaign, said in his letter of invitation, “Encourage all those who are new to the 40-Days for Life to make a special Lenten commitment to become involved in this great prayer to change hearts and save lives.”

The Australian Church has in recent years made efforts to create religious celebrations around occasions that are widely recognised and celebrated in secular society.

Liturgies for Valentine’s Day have been developed as a celebration of family life and relationship, with families and engaged couples invited to take part, as well as the invitation to young people to have a date at church.

The Pancake Mass marking the beginning of the campaign for life uses Shrove Tuesday as an opportunity to launch its campaign.

People gather for 14 hours in the streets of Surry Hills every day during Lent to pray for the protection of life. The director of the campaign, Paul Hanrahan, said that the public witness to prayer has been effective and touched the hearts of expectant mothers as well.

“Babies whose fate was destruction by the hands of the abortionist are saved from a sorrowful end and in time received by the profoundly thankful hands of the mother,” he said.

“For this to happen… requires a change in heart towards God and this is the greatest mission of prayer on the street for 14 hours each day for 40 days non-stop,” he concluded.

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