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Pro-lifers stand in prayer with bishop

WEST PALM BEACH | Under soggy skies Jan. 19, Bishop Gerald M. Barbarito prayed the rosary with Catholic school students and community members outside the historic Palm Beach County Courthouse in downtown West Palm Beach in solidarity with the thousands gathered in Washington for the 2024 March for Life.

After the group relocated to a covered area because of light rain, the bishop invoked “the power of prayer, the power of the rosary, the power of Our Lady” to inspire renewed action to make abortion unthinkable in Florida and across the United States.

“The taking of the life of an unborn child, the disruption that that causes to families, the lack of respect for the gift of life is something that we pray for,” he said. “We’re making progress, but we haven’t made enough progress by any means in our country today, so we continue to pray and do all that we can to show our respect for the life of an unborn child.”

Deanna Herbst-Hoosac, director of Catholic Charities’ Respect Life ministry, began by thanking all in attendance for their pro-life efforts. She asked God to bolster their courage to speak and act in defense of human life.

“We are thankful to all of you that advocate for the unborn, either by sidewalk counseling, 40 Days for Life or by prayer,” Herbst-Hoosac said. “We will continue to walk alongside our moms and families with solidarity to assist with love and support. Birthline/Lifeline and the Women’s Pregnancy Solutions mobile units offer many options for moms in need by offering them resources for material and financial needs, along with free ultrasounds and pregnancy testing.”

Students from Cardinal Newman High School led the rosary, joined by children from nearby St. Ann School. Local priests who attended included Msgr. Tom Skindeleski, who led the group in song, Father Daniel Daza-Jaller, diocesan vocations director, and Father Quesnel Delvard, St. Ann’s pastor.

Abraham Mir, whose freshman daughter, Cybella, was one of the Cardinal Newman students who led the prayers, said it is extremely important to be a public pro-life witness in the community.

“First of all, we show that our faith is most important to us, and also in the public square so that other folks can see us praying, be inspired, maybe join us and see that God is still with us, still changing the world,” he said. For more information on local pro-life activities, visit or contact Herbst-Hoosac at or 561-360-3330.