Catholic Sentinel photo by Jaime Valdez
Archbishop Alexander Sample speaks to a group holding vigil outside Planned Parenthood in Beaverton.
Catholic Sentinel photo by Jaime Valdez
Archbishop Alexander Sample speaks to a group holding vigil outside Planned Parenthood in Beaverton.

BEAVERTON — Archbishop Alexander Sample led West Side Catholics to Planned Parenthood here last weekend, asking that all life be respected, even the most vulnerable. 



After presiding at morning Mass, the archbishop and the congregation made the walk of several blocks in the downtown core, turning the heads of morning shoppers and folks strolling to coffee shops. One passerby chided the pro-lifers for their views.

Marie Barzen of St. Cecilia parish organized the Mass and march as a start to a Lenten 40-day vigil outside Planned Parenthood offices, the region's largest abortion provider. 


“My goal is to energize the west side to the realization of life,” says Barzen. “Forty days brings public awareness to Planned Parenthood and the harm it is causing our community.”


At the Mass, the pews were filled with more than 450 people.

“You’ve all been very gracious in thanking me for coming here, but it’s not about me. It is all about you, your community, all the people who have worked hard in this pro-life movement and those of you who do stand up for life,” said Archbishop Sample during his homily.

The archbishop described the day’s Mass as “the perfect prayer,” telling those in attendance that it would serve as “the source of power,” and would “strengthen our work to support women and men in mercy and love.

“People are beginning to wake up! Technology has been a window to the womb. There is real hope. Pope John Paul  reminds us that our current ‘Culture of Death’ must be overcome, and that the dignity of traditional marriage must be defended. Truth will always prevail. Keep strong in witness and prayer. Educate people of the dignity of the human person,” he said.

The march after Mass led the group to nearby Planned Parenthood offices, where those keeping vigil at the site will pray seven days a week throughout Lent. 


A similar vigil is taking place at Planned Parenthood offices in Portland.  The vigil goes from 7 a.m., until 7 p.m., ending on April 13, Palm Sunday.
 
The day’s participants included Danny Ackley, 18, and Daniel Rodriguez, 17, students at Aloha High and members of St. Cecilia’s youth group.  The two were there to “make a difference and evangelize,” they said.

“In America, all humans should be respected and have dignity including those in the womb,” said Tom Eyer.

For more information about the vigil, call Marie Barzen at 503-524-5326.


— Ed Langlois of the Catholic Sentinel contributed to this story.