Parish Music Director and pianist Audrey Donaldson and violinist Dr. Danielle Cummins-Nahas play pieces composed by musical masters including J. S. Bach and Franz Schubert. Gathered on September 20 at St. Peter & St. Paul Church in Alta Loma, the audience responds with enthusiastic appreciation.
The Rose Life Benefit Concert was an early kickoff to Respect Life Month in the parish. This concert is an example of creative and collaborative efforts that take place all year long to celebrate and advance the Culture of Life in this Catholic community.
“The idea for these concerts is to partner each parish in the Diocese with its respective Life-affirming Pregnancy Help Center, raising awareness, getting financial support started and continued, and creating a social environment for people to get together to support Life,” Dr. Cummins-Nahas says.
The Sept. 20 concert was held in support of Assure Pregnancy Clinic in Fontana.
Danielle’s mother, Deborah Cummins, parish Respect Life Coordinator, said St. Peter and St. Paul is building on the vision of former pastor, Father Patrick Kirsch, who suggested that rather than being problem or crisis focused, parishioners instead develop an appreciation of every human person as a child of God, reflecting their Maker’s glory. This echoes Pope Francis’ call that “each of us is a Masterpiece of God’s creation,” she adds.
“If we see each person as a child of God, as His Masterpiece, then we must treat each other with respect and kindness,” Cummins says. “Advocating for human life and dignity, for family and marriage, becomes a parish-wide mission, the responsibility and privilege of all ministries.”
Pastoral Coordinator Michael Donaldson quotes Guadium et Spes, one of four pastoral constitutions of the Church that resulted from the Second Vatican Council, when he emphasizes the parish’s ministry focus.
“The well-being of the individual person and of human and Christian society is intimately linked with the healthy condition of that community produced by marriage and family,” the document reads.
And so last May when the St. Peter and St. Paul Respect Life Ministry asked the Spanish Youth Ministry for help selling bouquets for the Mother’s Day Rose Sale to benefit Assure Pregnancy Clinic and Veronica’s Maternity Home, the Youth responded with a spirited, yes! And now as the Youth prepare for the next World Youth Day, the Respect Life Ministry and other ministries will help raise funds for them in turn.
This month the Hopeful Loving Memory Ministry will offer support for the caregivers of people suffering from dementia. St. Peter and St. Paul will join in prayer and fasting in the “40 Days for Life” effort to spare mothers, fathers and babies in danger of abortion, and the Catholic Family Ministry will host a family movie night. Our Charity in Action will gather blankets for the homeless, a baby crib will serve as a collection spot for donations for expectant families in need, and the Grief Support Ministry will continue its weekly gatherings of compassion.
The parish will take up the annual Sanctity of Human Life Collection as it makes educational resources on human life and dignity available alongside coffee and donuts after Sunday Masses.
Asked how so many ministries can accomplish so much with such a collaborative spirit, Cummins answers “it all begins with prayer, working one on one, supporting each other. It’s easy!”