This has been a year of anniversaries and birthdays. The Interim turned 20. Fr. Ted turned 90. Campaign Life and Jim Hughes have both been fighting for the rights of the unborn for 25 years. In September, both were both honoured during a dinner in Toronto for reaching this milestone. It was a joyous occasion; yes, we do mean joyous. More about that in a moment.

Yes, we are saddened that too many of our friends and allies have passed away: we hope they go to their eternal reward. And we are saddened when we think of the many who stood for life but, for one reason or another, no longer stand by our side. But most of all, we are saddened that every year, more than 110,000 unborn babies are slaughtered by abortionists. It is this that necessitates our existence; it is this that keeps us going.

It may seem strange that fighting against abortion and the culture of death is cause for celebration, but it is. We are happy that so many pro-lifers across this country, against such enormous odds, continue the battle to protect the unborn from abortion after so many years. We remember the words of Fr. Richard John Neuhaus at the International pro-life conference last October, when he said that though the fight has been long, it is far from over. Those in the movement, he said, cannot just stop defending the unborn, for they are “claimed by the movement.” We are happy to be claimed by the pro-life movement; we are joyful in doing God’s work and cognizant that despair is a sin.

Mary Ellen Douglas, the national organizer of Campaign Life Coalition, often says that in working to save unborn babies, we are working to save ourselves. Pro-life work is sanctifying work. The Interim salutes all those who have dedicated their lives to the protection of the unborn, the sick, the elderly and the otherwise vulnerable, and to turning back the culture of death and replacing it with a culture of life. We may not see the fruits of victory, but we must have the humility to recognize that all is done according to God’s schedule, not ours.

In the meantime, everyone should look at their own lives and ask themselves: am I doing enough?