By Dave Jolivet

DARTMOUTH —As has been the diocesan custom each year around the Solemnity of the Annunciation, March 25, area youth and faithful gathered with Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V. for a Pro-Life Mass at St. Julie Billiart Church in Dartmouth, to celebrate life, from conception to natural death.

As is also the custom, the bishop presented one youth and one adult with the John Cardinal O’Connor Pro-Life Award, given to someone whose goal it is to promote and support life.

The annual Diocese of Fall River Pro-Life Mass was recently celebrated at St. Julie Billiart Church in N. Dartmouth. Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V. presented the annual John Cardinal O’Connor Pro-Life Awards at the conclusion. Standing with Bishop da Cunha are, from left, award recipients: Paulette Martinville, of Holy Trinity Parish in Fall River, Adult Category; and Aleena Borra, Youth Category. The four winning Pro-Life Essays were also read by the authors, and appear on pages eight and nine. (Photo by John E. Kearns Jr.)

This year’s adult award was given to Paulette Martinville, a parishioner of Holy Trinity Parish in Fall River; and the student award was presented to Aleena Borra, an eighth-grader at Holy Family-Holy Name School in New Bedford.

This year’s annual Pro-Life Essay contest was themed, “St. Joseph, Protector of the Family, Defender of Life.”

Four winners were announced: first and second place in the High School Division and the Junior High School Division. The four winners read their winning essays at the Mass.

The winners, whose essays appear on pages eight and nine in this Anchor, were: High School Division, first place — Jade Biliouris, a sophomore at St. John Paul II High School, Hyannis; and second place went to Eamon Philip Martin, a freshman at Bishop Stang High School, Dartmouth.

The Junior High School Division winners were: first place — Aleena Borra; second place — Anna Higgins, grade eight at Holy Family-Holy Name School, New Bedford.