Wednesday, October 5, 2011

"Our Shepherd Came!"

Good Bishop Vasa of Santa Rosa Visits Flock at 40 Days for Life

More and more Bishops are marching with, and ahead of, their flocks in the battle for the Culture of Life. On July 22, 2011 California Catholic Daily reported that on July 16 Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento led a Rosary Procession to the city’s main Planned Parenthood abortion business at 29th and B Streets. The procession followed a Mass celebrated at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Sacramento.

The new Bishop of the Diocese of Santa Rosa, the Most Reverend Robert Vasa can be added to this list. On September 28, Bishop Vasa led the opening prayer at the beginning of the 40 Days for Life fall vigil outside of the Women’s Health Specialists abortion business at 4415 Sonoma Highway in Santa Rosa.

40 Days for Life Santa Rosa co-Captain Judy Parcher said: “Our chapter is small… we were praying, and my husband said to me ‘Oh my gosh, isn’t that the bishop behind you?’ I turned and it was! I can’t tell you the joy that raced in my heart, and I felt how much love God had bestowed on us with this visit! I thought: he’s so busy…that he would take this time to be with us … our shepherd came!”

Bishop Vasa’s presence at a pro-life vigil should come as no surprise. He has been an outspoken proponent of the Church’s teaching on life issues. In 2010, as Bishop of the Diocese of Baker, Oregon, Vasa withdrew the Church’s official sponsorship of Oregon’s St. Charles Medical Center because the hospital performed sterilizations. In 2007, the Bishop had asked that the hospital to verify its compliance with the U.S. Bishops' Catholic Ethical and Religious Directives for Health Care Services. After discovering the church performed tubal ligations, the Bishop removed the sponsorship. On February 16, 2010, LifeSiteNews quoted the bishop: “It would be misleading for me to allow St. Charles Bend to be acknowledged as Catholic in name while I am certain that some important tenets of the Ethical and Religious Directives are no longer being observed.”

The Santa Rosa vigil is bearing fruit. Mrs. Parcher said “Less than 24 hours after the bishop joined us, a young woman, accompanied by a man drove into the abortion business. They headed down the driveway, but a little while later she came out. She came up to us and was crying, and said ‘I don’t want to have an abortion. Can you help me?’ We carry lots of information for crisis pregnancy centers and we directed her to one that could help her out.”

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