A Holy Week miracle

Senate kills abortion rights bill; pro-lifers made voices heard

Nissa LaPoint
Machebeuf students and nearly 1,000 faithful cheer for life at the state Capitol April 15.  The abortion rights Senate Bill 175 was killed by the Senate April 16.

Remember this night; remember this bill.

Life won a victory over the culture of death tonight when state senators began to buckle in the pursuit of the “abortion rights” Senate Bill 175 and killed it shortly before 7 p.m.

Pro-lifers mobilized in less than a week to pray for the defeat of the destructive bill that threatened to create unfettered access to abortion and undo life-affirming laws in Colorado.

Faith-filled citizens inundated state senators with phone calls, emails and personal requests to vote down the bill in support of mothers and for the protection of the unborn.

Jenny Kraska of the Colorado Catholic Conference said this night, April 16, is proof that Catholics can make a difference.

“Whenever someone says that we can’t make a difference, just remember this night, just remember this bill,” she said.

The Senate moved to lay over the bill until May 8, one day after the legislative session is scheduled to end on May 7. This effectively killed the bill, and the Senate will not vote on it.

Sen. John Kefalas, D-Larimer, who belongs to the Orthodox Church, and Sen. Rachel Zenzinger, a parishioner at Spirit of Christ Church in Arvada, reportedly began to waver in their support of the bill as pro-lifers made their voices heard.

Without the majority vote of the Democrats, the bill would have failed.

Kraska thanked everyone for their witness that stopped the bill in its tracks.

“It is because of your willingness to engage the public square that we were able to defeat (Senate Bill 175),” she said in a statement. “Your voices matter and are needed in the public square now more than ever; please remember what we were able to accomplish and continue to be involved and make your voices heard.”

Some are calling it a Holy Week miracle.

“I cannot thank you all enough for what you did to make this possible—this is truly a miracle,” Kraska said.

The bill’s progress was stopped one day after nearly 1,000 Christians gathered with Archbishop Samuel Aquila and Greek Orthodox Father Ambrose Omayas at the state Capitol to pray for the protection of life.

Young and old; men, women and children; laity and religious; solemnly prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3 p.m. April 15.

The bill was scheduled for a vote that same evening and faithful from the gathering outside flooded the Senate chambers. However, the Senate moved to lay over the bill because one Democrat, Kefalas, a key supporter of the bill, reportedly went home sick.

Bill proponents believe the outside prayer gathering and the high volume of opposition and prayer led the Democrat-controlled Senate to move to end the bill April 16.

During that prayer rally, Archbishop Aquila told the crowd gathered on the Capitol steps that it’s important to participate in the political system. He said Catholics can no longer take the backseat.

“Some of the senators have said they have shut off their phones, some of them said they have never been contacted by so many,” the archbishop said during the gathering. “And you can make a difference. Too many times we have taken a backseat, and Catholics, Christians, and people of good will can no longer take a back seat.”

His statements echoed the words of Pope Francis, who said in September, “A good Catholic meddles in politics, offering the best of himself, so that those who govern can govern.”

COMING UP: Relics of St. Anthony of Padua to visit Denver Oct. 14-23

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For the first time, relics of St. Anthony of Padua, beloved as the “finder of lost things,” will travel from Italy to the Archdiocese of Denver for veneration at seven parishes, including the Cathedral Basilica.

The Messenger of Hope tour, set Oct. 14-23, includes two first class relics of the Franciscan friar who died in 1231 and was canonized just 11 months later by Pope Gregory IX, faster than any other saint. Franciscan Father Mario Conte, executive editor of Messenger of St. Anthony magazine, will accompany the relics.

“St. Anthony’s reputation as a finder of lost things dates to an incident in the saint’s life,” he explained. “A novice who had grown tired of religious life decided to leave the Franciscan community, but before leaving he took St. Anthony’s psalter.… Anthony prayed that the psalter would be found and returned to him.

“Anthony’s prayers were answered,” he continued. “The novice returned the psalter— and returned to the order.”

The Franciscans urge the faithful to ask for the saint’s intercession for more than the loss of material things, but also for those who have lost peace of mind or a sense of direction, and for a just society where no one is forgotten or lost.

Prayer petitions will be accepted by Father Conte, who will take them to St. Anthony’s Basilica in Padua, where the relics are housed, and place them at the saint’s tomb.

Box: St. Anthony Relics

The relics will be on display at the following churches; call for veneration and Mass times:

Oct. 14 – St. Rafka Maronite Church, Lakewood, 720-833-0354

Oct. 15 – St. Anthony of Padua, Denver, 303-935-2431

Oct. 16 – St. Michael the Archangel, Aurora, 303-690-6797

Oct. 17 – St. James, Denver, 303-322-7449

Oct. 18 – All Souls, Denver, 303-789-0007

Oct. 19-20 – St. Elizabeth of Hungary, 303-534-4014

Oct. 21-23 – Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Denver, 303-831-7010