Jan. 22, the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion in America in 1973, was marked by a Rose Mass held at St. Anthony’s Church in Nanuet.
The main celebrant was Rev. Gerry Deponai, pastor of St. Anthony’s. The two concelebrants were Msgr. Emmet Nevin, pastor of St. Aedan’s in Pearl River and Dean of Rockland County, and Rev. Joseph LaMorte, pastor of St. Gregory Barbarigo Church in Garnerville.
The Rose Mass, held each year on Jan. 22, is a special prolife mass for eighth graders from the county’s Catholic elementary schools. This year the mass was attended by students from St. Anthony’s, St. Gregory’s, Sacred Heart in Suffern, St. Paul’s in Congers, and St. Margaret’s in Pearl River, along with Novitiate sisters from the Sisters of Life in Montebello, and the public.
A vase of long-stemmed, red roses stood on a table near the altar. “The rose,” Fr. Gerry said in his homily, “reminds us of the power of God, who gives us love and beauty.”
“We pray,” he continued, “that each and every human conceived will have the chance for life and the chance to bloom into the person God wants them to be.”