Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I love talking with our young people throughout the diocese. Whether I see them at parishes, schools, or diocesan youth events, they are alive in their faith and always armed with good questions. I often remind them that everyone is made in the image and likeness of God and, therefore, is worthy of being treated with dignity and respect. That certainly includes the unborn.
The annual March for Life will take place in Washington, D.C., on January 24, and I once again look forward to attending the national gathering with youth from throughout our diocese. I am always impressed by their enthusiastic commitment to protecting the most innocent among us.
I want to take this opportunity to offer my continued prayers and support for everyone in our diocese who will travel to the nation’s capital for the March for Life. It will likely be a long and cold day, but well worth it! I also thank those who cannot make the trip, but will take time to honor the sanctity of life either privately or by attending some of the local observances scheduled in the coming days throughout Altoona-Johnstown.
Our young people get it. They recognize that life is a gift more precious than anything they found under the Christmas tree a few weeks ago. They are great reminders that we, as Catholics, have a duty to celebrate and safeguard all life – from conception until natural death – not only at this time of the year, but always.
Most Rev. Mark L. Bartchak
Bishop of Altoona-Johnstown