Dr. Mark Rollo was a beloved friend, teacher, and pro-life advocate and will be sorely missed. Please read the following tributes by all who walked alongside him in the fight for life in Massachusetts.
The Greater Fall River Chapter sends their sympathies and utmost sorrow. It has been touching to see all the stories pour out from both the Chapter and this Board about how much of a blessing Mark was to all of us.
My first encounter with Dr. Mark Rollo was his extensive writings in regard to life issues, and in particular euthanasia. His analyses of life issues were always intelligent, deep, and compassionate, whether it was in an MCFL magazine article or on his radio show. I witnessed minds change (or at least begin to reconsider issues) in my senior year bioethics class because of Mark's down-to-earth eloquence. While my time working with him on the Board of Directors was short, it was an honor. Mark was a genuine and wise colleague. Hearing his input was always an opportunity to learn more, and in turn improve my own advocacy. Our Commonwealth has lost an incredible stalwart in the fight for life and human dignity.
May the Lord reward him tenfold in the next life for all he did in this one.
- Sonja M.
I thank everyone for sharing your caring thoughts. I join you all in sadness at the loss of Dr. Rollo. God, in his wisdom, called Dr. Rollo home. I’m praying for his family, especially now, in their time of mourning.
- Catherine R.
Sad news for the pro life movement but eternal glory for such a faithful servant.
- Peggy B.
Your sentiments shared today are beautiful and so genuine, fitting for the beautiful and genuine person we have lost so suddenly -- so unjustly. I've had several hours to let this sink in. But my first reaction is still the one I have now. This isn't fair. It's a massive and premature loss, not just for our movement but for Mark's family and everyone who knew him.
Without exception, Mark was always, always, the first to respond to emails I send to our members, well before 7am: cheering us on, applauding our successes, supporting our endeavors, no matter how audacious or unlikely the immediate outcome might have seemed. He was consistently hopeful and optimistic and so reservedly, credibly authoritative that it was impossible to believe that victory was -- is -- anything but certain. That's a gift he has left us, I am realizing.
The past couple of years have proven for me that nothing is a coincidence. Everything is providential. Last night, I had the opportunity to enjoy a bit of down time with C.S. Lewis. In his Mere Christianity, in a chapter on hope, he wrote, and I underlined, this, which is how I believe Mark saw his role. It's odd, but when I reread this now I can almost hear him speaking it all: "The Christian says, 'Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. . . . If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. . . . I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that other country and to help others do the same.'"
Mark was a champion of life and perhaps MCFL's most ardent supporter. For those new to the Board, he'd only just retired from his career as a physician a couple of years ago. To my knowledge, most of his newfound retirement freedom was spent fighting for our cause, daily. And as you heard at the meeting last week, he was eager to see MCFL launch itself into its next phase, boldly and unapologetically fighting for those in our culture who are simply ignored by the majority.
We will be bold. We will fight. And now we have one more warrior angel on our side.
- Myrna M. F.
This sad news has sent a shock wave through the entire MCFL community and all those who knew Dr. Rollo. Our Greater Fall River Chapter sends our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Dr. Mark, who will be greatly missed. His leadership skills and moral compass were a beacon of hope to all who came to know him.
Such a sad loss. He was among the best in the movement.
- Linda T.
It’s stunning! A great man!
- Michael W.
He was such a great man, a wonderful teacher, and a good friend. His personal holiness and devotion to Christ, to MCFL, and to the pro-life cause was an inspiration. I will miss being able to call him on the phone for advice and good conversation.
- Helen C.
Very sad to hear. He was a warrior in his own way for life. He will be missed.
- Judy C.
I am devastated with the news! He was an amazing person and dedicated to our mission.
- Maria A.
How heartbroken we all are at this news. The world has lost the gentle light of a good man, and the Board has lost one of its pillars. Eternal rest grant unto Mark, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May Our Lady, Queen of Heaven and Earth, embrace his servant soul.
- David F., Ph.D.
How heartbreaking. Many prayers for Dr. Mark, and his family. What a great, great, loss to all of us and the movement. So sad.
- Danielle C.
I am in shock at this very sad news. We are familiar with Mark’s hard work both on the Board and Executive Board, but in here in central Massachusetts, we know Mark as one of the members whose weekly prayer vigils outside of Planned Parenthood in Fitchburg helped shut down that facility. In additional to his weekly pro-life radio show at WQPH, he spoke on the topic of assisted suicide and regularly submitted op-ed pieces to The Catholic Free Press on the topic. He was a strong and invaluable presence on the No Assisted Suicide Massachusetts coalition, organizing and working with other physicians lobbying legislators to defeat assisted suicide legislation from passing. He did it all quietly and humbly, never drawing attention to himself. We will miss him. RIP Mark
- Sandra K.
What dreadful news. I am shocked and deeply saddened. He was so very important to MCFL. His clarity in deliberation, forward thinking and passion against Doctor Assisted Suicide was unmatched. His death and absence will leave a tremendous void on the Board as well as our Banquet Committee. Rest In Peace good doctor.
- Andrea S. G.
Dr. Rollo was a wonderful Family Practice and NAPRO Technology physician at Reliant Medical Group. He was an energetic, educated, and active advocate for Life as a board member of Massachusetts Citizens for Life. He worked to stop legislation aimed at ending human life at its beginnings and its ends. He educated people through his talk, The Abandonment of Hippocratic Medicine, and his podcast, First Do No Harm. He and I collaborated together against the latest attempt to pass assisted suicide here in Massachusetts.
The Massachusetts pro-life community will miss this tremendous advocate for life, as well as his great kindness and gentleness. We take comfort knowing he was able to see the overturning of Roe v Wade. He was a devout Catholic, as anyone listening to his podcast knew. We offer prayers for the repose of his soul in hope that he is soon taken into heaven to behold the beauty and splendor of God almighty. There I am sure he will continue to spiritually aid us in our our work to restore human dignity in medicine and in the culture.
- Kris C.
Thinking about Mark, four words come to mind: He never said, “No.” Perhaps that’s why the enormity of his loss to Massachusetts Citizens for Life as an organization and community of friends and colleagues defies adequate explanation. Mark was our “go to” resource for advice and guidance on so many life issues because we knew he would answer. And he always did. In his truly gentle-manly way, he taught, worked, and advocated zealously for the cause of life. He embodied the sacred Hippocratic Oath that he swore as a physician to “Do no harm,” and evidenced it in his manner, speech, and thought. He will never be replaced, and we will miss him dearly.
- Pat S.
It was a privilege to be a member of MCFL’s Board and WQPH-FM’s staff with Dr. Rollo. In addition to his masterful presentations on the pro-life front, he helped the station in many ways.
We know that he could join Baptist minister and comic Grady Nutt, who at the end of his life, said, “I’m glad I did that.”
We know that the babies he saved along with those who lost their fight for life are grateful for his efforts on their behalf. May he rest in eternal peace.
- Connie and Cathleen M.