Members of Saint John Neumann Catholic Church gathered on Sunbury Village Square Saturday as they joined 16,000 parishes nationwide during a Praying the Rosary for America Rally.
The Sunbury rally was led by SJN Reverend Deacon Carl Calcara as parishioners and other community members prayed for America, for the nation’s leaders, and for wisdom in the midst of challenges the nation faces today.
Sunbury Mayor Tommy Hatfield was at the dais to deliver opening remarks and introduce Congressman Pat Tiberi, a member of the SJN Parish, who briefly addressed the more than 300 SJN parishioners and others attending the rally.
Tiberi’s remarks focused on Respect Life Month and his work to ensure that national laws protect the dignity of life, as well as his work on solutions to fight poverty and boost access to affordable housing in areas that need it the most.
Tiberi said most Americans look to their political leaders for hope during trying times; he said as a political leader, he looks God for hope.
“At every stage in life, from the moment of conception and beyond, every person deserves the chance to live, seize opportunity, and reach their full potential,” Tiberi said. “As Catholics we use our God-given call to be as good as we can, and to help our fellow human beings, protecting the born and the unborn. Every year that passes, we’re given signs that we’re on the right side of this. Science and technology is on our side. History is on our side.”
Tiberi said America’s founding fathers outlined the rights given to Americans, not by their government — but by their creator.
“Our nation was founded on the principles of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness,” Tiberi said. “That’s why we must be leading the charge on promoting a culture that respects and protects the dignity of every person, protecting our freedoms and deeply held values, and helping our community be as strong as it can be.”
Tiberi also addressed fighting poverty. He said in that fight the yardstick that Americans use in treating others would become the yardstick the entire nation will be measured by.
“Unfortunately, we know that the federal government doesn’t have a strong track record on this front, despite having spent trillions of dollars on one-size-fits-all programs,” Tiberi said. “There has got to be a better way to advance new and innovative ideas that empower communities to fight poverty, and grow and thrive from the ground up.”
Tiberi said that better way includes tax solutions he has championed that boost access to affordable housing and drives redevelopment and economic growth in areas that need it most.
“Our nation continues to fight an uphill battle on many fronts and a host of issues,” Tiberi said. “I don’t view them as political issues, I view them as moral issues. But I have hope — not because of what I see in Washington, I have hope because of what I see here today.”
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.