METUCHEN — A couple and a committee dedicated to promoting the pro-life cause will be honored with the Pro-Vita Award during the Diocese of Metuchen’s annual Respect Life Mass on Sunday, Jan. 20 at the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi, Metuchen. Bishop Paul G. Bootkoski will be the principal celebrant at the noon Mass, and Msgr. Edward C. Puleo will deliver the homily.
The award recipients are Jean and Joseph Cummins and the Chapter 4 Knights of Columbus – Ultrasound Initiative Committee.
“This year is especially meaningful because it marks the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court Decision of Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion in our country,” noted Jennifer Ruggiero, director of the diocesan Office of Respect for Life. “During this Year of Faith it is important for us to reflect on the millions of unborn children lost through abortion and to recommit ourselves to building a culture of life.
“The late Bishop Hughes was, himself, a champion of the pro-life cause and began the annual diocesan Respect Life Mass as a way of commemorating this landmark decision,” she added.
The Cummins’ are being recognized for their long time commitment and dedication to the pro-life cause. Jean Cummins has served as the parish pro-life representative for St. Joseph Parish, North Plainfield for more than two decades helping to foster pro-life education and awareness in the parish. Together Jean and Joe have assisted and participated in the Somerset County Life Chain annually. They have been active in many of the diocesan pro-life initiatives such as assisting with conferences, leading letter-writing campaigns and fundraising efforts.
For many years, the couple has also been involved in volunteering in the community to help foster pro-life leaders and public policy. The Cummins’ have raised 11 children and now have 38 grandchildren and several great grandchildren.
The membership of the Ultrasound Committee of the Chapter 4 Knights of Columbus includes: Michael Schiavone (Chair), Ramon Alayon, Eugene Baker, Stanton Hubbard and Anthony Moskal. As a committee, these men have spearheaded efforts to raise funds to help equip pregnancy help centers within the Diocese of Metuchen with new state-of-the-art ultrasound machines. To date, they have coordinated efforts to purchase four new machines, including one for a mobile pregnancy help center.
The committee’s efforts in researching the needs of the local pregnancy help centers and collaborating with the diocesan Respect Life Office and the local parishes have provided a model for the Knights of Columbus Ultrasound Initiative on the National level. Their efforts have been vital in helping women in crisis pregnancies to choose life.
Established in 1988 as a prayer service celebrated in conjunction with the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion in the U.S., the Respect Life Mass today celebrates life from the womb to the tomb.
All are invited to the Pro-Vita Mass and reception which will follow in the Cathedral Community Room. For more information, call 1-732-562-1990, ext. 1629 or visit www.diometuchen.org.
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