The Class of 2001

Frank Pavone, Rev.
National Director/ Priests for Life
March 24, 2001

The class of 2001 is missing a few people. In fact, it is missing a million and a half people on each level of graduating classes. These missing students deserve a remembrance in the graduation liturgies and ceremonies that will soon take place.

Such remembrance can take the form of a moment of silence, a lit candle, an empty chair, or a brief prayer. Symbolic actions can be accompanied by words like these:

“On this day of joy, we give thanks to God for our accomplishments. At the same time, we cannot ignore those whose lives have been lost, and who otherwise would have been with us to share the joys of this day.

With charity toward all and condemnation toward none, we, the Class of 2001, wish to honor and remember those who have lost their lives because they were aborted. (We pause now for a moment of silence. Or We now light this candle in their memory. Or We set aside these empty chairs in their memory.)

As we move into a new chapter of our lives, we commit ourselves to building a Culture of Life, in which parents never have to feel that the only way to solve their problems is to abort their child, and in which the precious dignity of every human life, especially the most defenseless, is cherished and protected. We invite you all to join us in striving for this goal.”

The former “Jane Roe” of Roe vs. Wade, Norma McCorvey, just sent me a special message to pass along to the graduates of 2001. It reads, “Dear Graduates,

“'Mom, Where is the back of my earring? Do I look fat in this dress? Mom, are you listening? Dad, will you rent us a limo for tonight? Oh Dad, please just this one time It would mean so much. I promise not to be out all night.' These are the words echoing all over America this spring as students are getting ready for their commencement exercises at high schools and colleges.

But there are many children who do not have this privilege because of their deaths, deaths that have been occurring for the last 28 years of legal abortion. Each year children will never have the chance to say any of those words, or have the joy of graduating. They were taken, before they were born, from their mother's womb. They had a coffin instead of a bassinet for their birth. So, in this year of 2001 the graduating class has much to be thankful for....Life! Let us not forget those who were not so fortunate!" (Norma McCorvey)

If a member of the class of 2001 died during her senior year, is it conceivable that she would not be remembered? Let's see to it, then, that those who died at a younger age are not forgotten. After all, what matters is not the timing of their death, but the value of their life!