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State Chaplain 2018 - 2019

Picture of Rev Kenney St. Hilaire

Rev Kenneth St. Hilaire
February 2019

We recently marked the 46th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized the killing of children in the womb. Since then, some 60 million American lives have been stopped short by the barbaric practice of abortion. The bishops of our nation have asked that January 22 be observed every year as a Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children, and that we ought to pray and do penance in a particular way on that day.

The gravity of the matter really strikes me. 60 million lives. Imagine how the world could have been enriched by the lives of these individuals, had they been given the chance to live. It’s hard to even conceptualize the loss that our country has sustained through their deaths. So many friendships that will never be. So many contributions to the development of society that will never materialize. So much laughter lost. So many opportunities to love thrown away. So many potential saints who were never given the chance to inspire the world.

Do you ever find yourself thinking, “It’s someone else’s job to fix this situation”? It’s true; we can feel very helpless when faced with the prospect of changing laws. Perhaps especially in our own state, which was the first to legalize abortion through a vote of the people (in 1970, even before Roe v. Wade), we may be tempted to feel like there’s not much hope of remedying the situation.

Is this the spirit of true disciples of Jesus Christ? Would the Lord have us say, “It’s someone else’s job”? Would the Lord have us say, “There’s nothing we can do”? It seems to me that the Lord would say instead, “I’ve sent you into the world to be a voice for those who cannot speak. I am sending you now to stand up for those who cannot defend themselves. I want you to do something!”

What can we do? Our first duty is to pray and to do penance as we are able. Prayer and fasting have always been considered powerful means of bringing about change for the good. We should never underestimate the importance and efficacy of the spiritual exercises we undertake for the cause of protecting the dignity of human life.

We should also be active participants in the legislative process. There should be no one among us who doesn’t learn about current issues and vote in elections. We also have the right and duty to contact our representatives and let them know where we stand.

Hopefully you have heard by now of the Washington State Catholic Conference (WSCC). This is the public policy voice of the bishops of Washington State. The WSCC issues a periodic bulletin that outlines the matters being discussed in our state government and facilitates the process of connecting with our representatives. If you have not signed up yet, I would ask that you do so. Go to and click “Join Our Network”.

There are numerous issues having to do with human dignity, beyond the most fundamental issue of the right to life. For example, there is a movement to legalize “human composting”. A bill has also been introduced which would require parents to be notified before a minor could obtain an abortion. And of course, issues like immigration, affordable housing, and many others also have to do with the protection of human dignity. We need to make our voices heard. In fact, we need to let the voice of Jesus be heard!

So, let it never be said that we didn’t care enough to get out and do something! May the Lord bless our efforts to foster a new Culture of Life.        

Vivat Jesus!

 Fr. Kenneth St. Hilaire

State Chaplain