Life Mass to be Live and Virtual
Together strong: Pro-life beliefs unite March for Life participants despite COVID restrictions
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
January 14, 2021
HUNTLEY—Traditionally at this time of year, the diocese along with a variety of schools and parishes would be preparing for a pilgrimage to the annual March for Life in Washington, Jan. 27-29.
But like most other large gatherings, the annual March is being overshadowed by the coronavirus and concerns for the health and safety of those who would participate. Even though the march will still take place, many dioceses are not sponsoring group travel, Rockford included.
However, for the past eight years, not only has Bishop David Malloy attended the march, he has celebrated Mass in the diocese before the pilgrims head to the nation’s capital to join others in the annual national witness for life.
Pilgrims may stay home, but the Mass will be celebrated.
“This will be the first year since I have been here (as bishop of the Rockford Diocese) that I was not planning to go to Washington with our young people and others to March for Life. This issue is so important and the spiritual practice of that annual Mass is so valuable that I wanted to try to keep it alive,” Bishop Malloy said.
With the coordination of the Life and Family Evangelization Office and Father Christopher DiTomo, pastor, along with his parish team at St. Mary Huntley, a Mass for Life will be celebrated in person and streamed to the public.
The Mass will be celebrated at the Huntley parish on Jan. 22 at 6:30 p.m. According to Father DiTomo, under diocesan protocols during the current pandemic, the parish can accommodate a maximum of 300 persons. This allows for social distancing. 
Face masks and advance registration for the Mass are required. Those wanting to participate in the Mass in person should sign up online at For those wanting to participate online, they can also go to the parish website — — on the day of the Mass. 
With a new administration being sworn in on Jan. 20, the March for Life is scheduled a week later than usual. And according to Bishop Malloy, it is another reason to stand up and witness for life.
“We know that over 60 million of our brothers and sisters have not been born since the 1973 decision of Roe v Wade. That is the toll of abortion. President-elect Biden has signaled the desire of his administration to make a pro-abortion policy the law of the land. As Catholics, including those who have recently voted for candidates who expressed support for abortion, it is up to us to stand up for the right to life so that 60 million more do not perish,” Bishop Malloy said.
And even though he won’t be traveling to the national march, Bishop Malloy said there are still things Catholics can do here at home to defend life.
“The March for Life is an important tool. But it is only a tool in the fight to respect all human life, especially the unborn. We can and must still pray, and witness and confront the culture of death that manifests itself in so many ways in our country,” he said.
Bishop Malloy invites all Catholics to participate in this important Mass and time of prayer for our country. 
He reminds all those planning to participate in person-or online that even in the time of a pandemic and in the light of the grim statistics of abortion on demand, “our support for life is a positive aspect of our faith. God is the giver of life. Our conception and birth in this world is the first step on the path to eternal life. For that reason, our struggle in support of life, for all its tragedy, is joyful,” he said.
Pro-life events in and near the Rockford Diocese:
Jan. 17: Chicago March for Life — Mundelein is closest location; 11:30 caravan meets at Holy Apostles and Hobby Lobby, Hwy. 14, Crystal Lake. 
Jan. 22: 6:30 p.m., Bishop Malloy’s Pro-Life Mass, Huntley (see story above)
Jan. 23: Walk for Life, Rockford, 10 a.m., Federal Courthouse, 327 S. Church St. 
Participants are to follow Illinois COVID guidelines, including wearing masks (if over age 2) and maintaining 6 feet between non-family members.
Info: or 815-494-0333
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