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Pro-Life Mass to honor witnesses

Posted By March 20, 2015 | 2:02 pm | Lead Story #3
While at the March for Life, 14-year-old Thomas Szkoda took this photo of the Washington Monument at noon, facing the sun. His father, Thaddeus Szkoda, said he thought that nothing would come of it because of the blinding solar glare, “but when we returned home we discovered that the photo was something truly awe inspiring.” So he made a flier out of it, shown above.
While at the March for Life, 14-year-old Thomas Szkoda took this photo of the Washington Monument at noon, facing the sun. His father, Thaddeus Szkoda, said he thought that nothing would come of it because of the blinding solar glare, “but when we returned home we discovered that the photo was something truly awe inspiring.” So he made a flier out of it, shown above.

Individuals who have shown heroic witness to the intrinsic value of each human life, will be honored at the annual Mass for Life, celebrated by Bishop McManus March 25 at 10 a.m. in St. Paul Cathedral.
The liturgy will celebrate the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, a feast day with special theological significance for the pro-life cause, since it celebrates the moment when God the Son assumed human nature in Mary’s womb.  “We draw attention to the fact that the Second Person of the Trinity dwelled in the Blessed Virgin’s womb and shared in our human nature from its beginning, as well as in our development,” according to Allison LeDoux, director of the diocesan Respect Life Office. All are invited to attend.
Students from the Catholic schools of the diocese will be among those joining Bishop McManus.
The Mother Teresa Pro-Life Award, the Ruth V.K. Pakaluk Pro-Life Youth Award, and the Gospel of Life Award, given annually, will be presented at this liturgy.     Below are excerpts from the nominations provided in a press release by Mrs. LeDoux.
The two recipients of the Mother Teresa Pro-Life Award for 2015 are Dr. Paul A. Carpentier and Evelyn Lindquist.
Dr. Carpentier has been a family physician in Gardner for 25 years where his full-service family practice, incorporated as “In His Image Family Medicine,” has served patients from conception to natural death and at every stage in between. He has consistently practiced medicine in accord with the teachings of the Catholic Church.
Dr. Carpentier is a much sought-after expert in the area of Restorative Reproductive Medicine, using the Creighton Model techniques of NaPro Technology which is a highly successful, ethical and cost-effective approach to treating infertility and other reproductive disorders.
A magna cum laude graduate of Assumption College and a graduate of St. Louis University School of Medicine with honors in ethics and high risk obstetrics, Dr. Carpentier has also served as president of the American Academy of Fertility Care Professionals based at the Pope Paul VI Institute in association with Creighton University Medical School in Omaha, Neb., and received the Academy’s 2004 Outstanding Natural Family Planning Medical Consultant Award, the fifth doctor in the world to receive this honor.  He is a co-founder and past president of the Worcester Guild of the Catholic Medical Association, and was a leader in the successful efforts that defeated the 2012 ballot measure attempting to legalize physician-assisted suicide in Massachusetts.  Dr. Carpentier has taught and mentored many medical students, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants and has spoken to countless groups on the life issues with audiences that have included medical professionals, clergy and young people.
Dr. Carpentier is a member of St. Edward the Confessor Parish in Westminster.  He and his wife Suzanne are the parents of four grown sons.
Evelyn Lindquist serves as the executive director of Visitation House, a Catholic home of hospitality for women in crisis pregnancies providing material, emotional, and spiritual assistance.  Her dedication to the mission of Visitation House goes far beyond her administrative responsibilities.  Mrs. Lindquist consistently goes the extra mile in serving God’s gift of life in multiple ways, including acting as mother and friend in the day-to-day practical needs of the more than 200 young women and their babies who have come to live at Visitation House over the past 10 years. She assists them both materially and spiritually, sometimes even serving as godmother to their children.  Despite times of personal illness and hardships that would have sidelined almost anyone, Mrs. Lindquist has maintained her hard work and dedication ministering to God’s little ones, offering them the hope and help of the blessings that come from choosing life.
Mrs. Lindquist is an active member of St. Bernadette Parish in Northborough.  She and her husband, Russell, are the parents of two adult children.
The 2015 recipient of the Ruth V.K. Pakaluk Pro-Life Youth Award is Thomas Szkoda.
Thomas Szkoda is a ninth-grader at Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Still River and a member of St. Ann’s Parish in North Oxford. From a very young age, Thomas has been particularly dedicated to praying for the unborn and their parents. He has participated in the past five 40 Days for Life campaigns, volunteering every week to hold signs and pray the rosary. He has also eagerly participated with his parish in the October Life Chain prayer vigil for the past three years. He is an enthusiastic member of Immaculate Heart of Mary School’s St. John the Baptist Pro-Life League, participating in their activities and helping with fundraising so he could attend the March for Life in Washington, DC.  Thomas’s care and concern for people of all ages is noteworthy and evidenced in the great love he shows by spending time with his elderly grandfather and volunteering his time assisting frail neighbors with yard work. Thomas has also been an altar server in his parish for six years.
He is the son of Thaddeus and Paula Szkoda of Charlton and brother to five siblings.
Father Adam R. Reid will be the recipient of this year’s Gospel of Life Award.  The Gospel of Life Award was inaugurated by the Diocese in 2006 and named with the English title of Saint John Paul II’s great encyclical “Evangelium vitae,” which was issued on the feast of the Annunciation in 1995.  The encyclical marks its 20th anniversary this year.  The Gospel of Life is known as one of the Church’s most definitive works on the dignity of the human person and on the intrinsic value of each and every human life from conception to natural death, Mrs. LeDoux said.
Father Reid was ordained to the priesthood on June 4, 2005 by Bishop McManus. He is pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Webster. For many years, Father Reid has shown a particular appreciation for the sacredness of human life in all its stages. From his keen ability to be present, listen to, and pray with those who cross his path each day, to being available to the students and staff of St. Anne’s School, and his neighborhood outreach to those who are marginalized, Father Reid demonstrates how he lives the Gospel of Life throughout the many aspects of his priestly life and ministry.  He has a special place in his heart for those most vulnerable.
Father Reid has been a regular attendee at the March for Life in Washington, D.C., since his seminary days and continues to participate with a group of his parishioners each January. Through his strong support of the efforts of his parish pro-life committee, many educational and charitable works have been accomplished.  Father Reid regularly says Mass at Problem Pregnancy, shares in the ministry of Visitation House, and joins parishioners in the 40 Days for Life prayer vigil. His Christ-centered life, humble witness, and fidelity to the Church and the Gospel of Life are an inspiration to all who have been touched by Father Reid’s ministry.