Diocesan News

Rosary For Life Honors Those Doing God’s Work

Msgr. Andrew Vaccari, center, was honored at Rosary for Life’s annual Mass Oct. 2. From left, Rosary for Life founder Wyn Powers, Msgr. Vaccari and Bishop James Massa. (Photo Matthew O’Connor)

Three men were honored for their work and dedication to the pro-life movement when Rosary For Life celebrated its 26th annual Mass at Resurrection Church, Gerritsen Beach, Oct. 2.

This year’s honorees were Ed Wilkinson, editor emeritus of The Tablet; Frank Strauch, a past grand knight of the Knights of Columbus Flatbush Council No. 497, and Msgr. Andrew Vaccari, pastor of St. Mary Mother of Jesus, Bensonhurst.

Wyn Powers started Rosary for Life over a quarter century ago and now it is an international prayer association with lay members in 27 countries and booklets available in seven languages.

“We celebrate each year with a special Mass and we thank all those that have continued to come or have recently joined us,” Powers said. “We are a peaceful and prayerful organization. We ask people to pray the rosary at least once a week for the preservation of all human life.”

Powers said the lay group is rapidly growing in the Philippines, where 450,000 members have joined the association since it was introduced there 15 years ago. “In November, I will actually being going there to help them celebrate their anniversary. All of our members throughout the world represent a wonderful and powerful community fighting for life,” she added.

A recitation of the rosary preceded Mass, which was celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop James Massa. He thanked the honorees for their dedicated service to promoting the culture of life and each was awarded a plaque.

“In this time of the Church, the devil is having a field day. People are divided and torn on what to think,” the bishop said.

Men of True Faith

“Rosary for Life and the men being honored here have kept their faith and strength. They represent true faith.

“In the days leading up to this celebration I kept thinking how much I needed this night. Gathering with fellow Catholics to the defense of the unborn, gathering like this ignites the flame of hope. I am very happy to be celebrating with all these great people and celebrate all the great work they do.”

Hearing how Rosary For Life has grown through the years, Bishop Massa said, “always gives me strength that there are people still out there doing God’s work. The strength of their faith will keep them doing that work.”

Msgr. Vaccari was grateful to be honored and accepted the invitation to lead Rosary For Life’s annual retreat next June.

“This is a great honor and this is such a wonderful organization that has done a lot to help promote life. To be recognized by them means a great deal to me,” he said.

“Tonight is beautiful and knowing the other men being honored have done so much great work as well, I am thrilled to be up there with them. They inspire me, and through faith, our work will continue.”