St.Francis of Assisi Parish

"The first right of the human person is his life... [It is] the
condition of all the others. Hence it must be protected
above all others. It does not belong to society, nor does it
belong to public authority in any form to recognize this
right for some and not for others. It is not recognition
by another that constitutes this right. This right is
antecedent to its recognition; it demands
recognition and it is strictly unjust to refuse it."
~ Declaration on Procured Abortion, Sacred Congregation
of the Doctrine of the Faith, 1974, n. 11



Join us on Jan. 19-20, 2023!

After a two-year pandemic-related hiatus, the Diocese of Worcester's bus trip to the annual March for Life in Washington, DC is back!

One of the most frequently asked questions in recent months has been will there still be a March for Life now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned? YES! The March for Life organization has clearly indicated that the annual March in defense of human life will continue until the most defenseless little ones are welcomed in life and protected in law. Visit for more.
The Dobbs decision of June 24 that overturned Roe was historic and should be celebrated. But now there is even more work to do as the abortion question is returned to the states and the forces of the culture of death continue to assail us. We know that these past 50 years of advocating for those most vulnerable has moved mountains! We have seen the profound effects that perseverance in prayer, sacrifice, and charitable works has had! With the help of God, we continue with renewed hope and enthusiasm, to be proclaimers of the Gospel of Life!

Read on to learn what's new, and to find registration information...

What's new this year?

• Beginning this coming January, thanks to the overturning of Roe, the March will end at the U.S. Capitol instead of the Supreme Court, in recognition of the fact that the halls of Congress are where much advocacy for life must be done going forward. More information HERE.

• The National Prayer Vigil for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception will continue to be held in a somewhat modified format without the continuous overnight holy hours, but still maintaining the magnificent vigil Mass and early morning closing Mass. More information HERE.

• Our bus trip will follow the same itinerary as in past years (more HERE), but we have had to make a few adjustments regarding the logistics of registration.

• Lots of changes have happened with the charter bus industry during the past two years. The pandemic hurt business and many companies were forced to downsize. Also, during that period of time, the owners Fox Bus Lines, which had served us faithfully for so many years, retired and the company has been sold to a new entity. We wish the owners well in their retirement, and we will miss them! We have had to do an extensive search to find a transportation company that can accommodate us. Fortunately, we have found a bus company that can accommodate our group and we can now open registration. Other dioceses are encountering similar issues. Unfortunately, as with everything else, particularly the cost of fuel, prices have gone up. This is beyond our control, but we have done everything possible to find the best price. We appreciate your understanding!

• Due to the change of bus companies, our registration deadline is earlier than past years. Please be sure that we receive your registration by DECEMBER 15! We need to be sure that we can fill the two buses we have reserved by that date. After Dec. 15, please contact us to check availability. We will also maintain a wait list. More info on registration HERE.


March for Life
January 20, 2023
Washington, DC

Respect Life Mass with Bishop McManus
Thurs., Jan. 19 - 7:30 p.m.
Cathedral of St. Paul, 38 High St., Worcester
followed by departure of buses to Washington, DC

Cost: $130 per person
Registration deadline: December 15, 2022


Can't attend this year but want to help? Donations are gratefully accepted. Your generosity helps students and others who would like to attend but would otherwise find it difficult to do so. Checks may be made payable to Respect Life Office and mailed to 49 Elm St., Worcester, MA 01609. Thank you!

Respect Life Office - Diocese of Worcester, MA

Tell Congress to prioritize policies that support women, children, and families.

As Catholics in a post-Roe world, we continue to respond to our call to build a culture of life that supports the dignity of every person at every stage. We call on our lawmakers to do the same. Encourage your members of Congress to pass legislation that advances the health, safety, and flourishing of women, children, and families. Passage of bills such as the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act and support for the Child Tax Credit, paid family leave, pregnancy resource centers, child care and pre-kindergarten programs, housing, nutrition, maternal and child health, adoption, healthy relationships, environmental protections, inclusion of immigrant families in social programs, and the end of marriage penalties will help build an authentically life-affirming society.
We encourage you to add your own personal story about why more policies that support women, children, and families are needed.
You can read a recent USCCB letter calling for the passage of life-affirming policies that prioritize families here.

Take Action Now!

Stop the (Dis)”Respect for Marriage Act”!

In response to the life-saving overturning of Roe v. Wade, Congress – instead of stepping up to assist women and children in need – is moving furiously to lock in other anti-family priorities. The “Respect for Marriage Act,” for example, would prevent states from restoring the authentic understanding of marriage between man and woman if given the opportunity by the Supreme Court. Moreover, it could even require the federal government to honor polygamous “marriages” in states that move to allow it. No one should be mistreated because of their differences. But, as Pope Francis has said, children have a right to a mother and a father, and we must never stop advocating for marriage, in which children do best. Further, it is critical to protect freedom for people like small business wedding vendors and faith-based foster care agencies who serve their communities. Please tell your U.S. senators to vote “No” on the poorly-named Respect for Marriage Act.

Please see the USCCB’s recent letter to Congress on this legislation here.

Take action now to stop the (Dis)”Respect for Marriage Act”!

Update 11.18.22

It is deeply concerning that 62 senators recently voted to advance the misnamed "Respect for Marriage Act." As a result of this vote, the bill is likely to become law. If it does, the Act will further undermine the truth of marriage and put people of faith at greater risk of discrimination.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan responded to the vote this week, saying: "The bill is a bad deal for the many courageous Americans of faith and no faith who continue to believe and uphold the truth about marriage in the public square today. The Act does not strike a balance that appropriately respects our nation’s commitment to the fundamental right of religious liberty."
A final vote in the Senate is expected after Thanksgiving, and senators need to hear from you about their vote.

Please contact your Senators to either thank them for their "No" vote or to urge them to reverse course.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s full statement is available here.
A recent article by Cardinal Dolan on the harms of the bill is here.
You may also see the USCCB’s letter to the Senate on this legislation here

Take Action Now!

Call to Action

Say NO to Physician Assisted Suicide New PDF4.30.22

Urge the U.S. Department of Education to Respect Life and Liberty in Title IX

Title IX is a law that prohibits sex discrimination in public schools and many private schools, from kindergarten to the university level. The U.S. Department of Education has proposed a new regulation that would revise the concept of "discrimination on the basis of sex" to include "sexual orientation" and "gender identity." This would require schools to comply with gender ideology, affecting many of the day-to-day activities of these institutions. Schools could be punished for distinguishing between boys and girls in locker rooms and dorms). The proposed regulation would keep an existing exemption for religious schools, but teachers and students of faith in public schools would have no such protections.
The regulation’s definition of "discrimination on the basis of sex" would also include "termination of pregnancy." This could be used to impose requirements that promote abortion.
Join the USCCB in encouraging the USDE to clarify that “discrimination on the basis of sex” is not an abortion mandate, and that schools must have the freedom to continue to recognize a distinction between male and female in their activities and facilities.
Take action today!

The Word of Life intercessions for the month of December

USCCB Word of Life for December

Worcester Diocese Word of Life for December

Statement by Archbishop William E. Lori 

Serving Mom's in Need updated

Hope for Married Couples

Life Matters

Bridges of Mercy

 An Adoption Story

Call to Action

Urge HHS to Do No Harm to Life and Liberty
Section 1557 is the nondiscrimination provision of the Affordable Care Act. It protects people from discrimination on the basis of their sex in health care. But the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services (HHS) has proposed a rule implementing Section 1557, which would seriously impede Catholic hospitals, clinics, assisted living facilities, and health care workers from carrying out their work.
HHS is interpreting Section 1557 to impose new mandates about gender identity. According to the rule, it would be considered discrimination for a health care worker or Catholic hospital to object outright to performing gender transition procedures— such as the administration of puberty blocking drugs or surgery to remove healthy body parts—regardless of whether that objection is a matter of religious belief or clinical judgment. The proposed rule also suggests that the government may refuse to honor the right of health care workers and providers not to perform or participate in abortions. The proposed HHS Section 1557 rule could function as both an abortion mandate and a gender transition procedure mandate.
Your comments can make a difference! Join the USCCB in encouraging the HHS to clarify that “discrimination on the basis of sex” is not an abortion mandate, and that health care workers and medical facilities must be free to conscientiously object to gender transition procedures.
Take Action Now!


The videos of the talks and text of the homily from our Sept. 24th Pro-Life Morning of Reflection and Enrichment, "Life in the Eucharist", are now available on our website!



Photo's of St. Joesph & St.Thomas Becket courtesy of

Church of St.Thomas-a-Becket and St. Joseph Chapel Are Wheelchair Accessible
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398 Vernon Ave., P.O. Box 186 South Barre, MA 01074
fax (978) 355-0042 • Office phone (978) 355-2228