The Office of Family and Respect Life Ministries serves as the primary means by which the bishop communicates his vision for respect life issues to the people of the diocese. This is done primarily by: educating parishes, schools, and other groups about the sanctity of life; motivating individuals and parishes to be actively involved in pro-life groups and initiatives; and encouraging voters to vote in favor of, and petition their legislators for, pro-life and pro-family values.
Upholding the sanctity and dignity of human life through prayer, compassion, education, and advocacy.
“It is impossible to further the common good without acknowledging and defending the right to life, upon which all the other inalienable rights of individuals are founded and from which they develop. A society lacks solid foundations when, on the one hand, it asserts values such as the dignity of the person, justice and peace, but then, on the other hand, radically acts to the contrary by allowing or tolerating a variety of ways in which human life is devalued and violated, especially where it is weak or marginalized. Only respect for life can be the foundation and guarantee of the most precious and essential goods of society, such as democracy and peace.”
– Pope John Paul II, Evangelium vitae (1995), no. 101
Recognizing the great challenges to life within our country, in 2001 the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops published a Pastoral Plan on Pro-Life Activities. That plan implores every person, parish, and diocese within our country to rededicate ourselves to the cause of life, and suggests four main areas for doing so: (1) Public information and education; (2) pastoral care for at-risk women, post-abortive individuals, and anyone at risk of euthanasia or capital punishment; (3) public policy changes, particularly regarding abortion and euthanasia; and (4) prayer and worship supporting a culture of life.
In response, we have organized the Respect Life web pages along these same lines, including resources for:
- Education on pro-life issues
- pastoral care in the form of pregnancy resource centers for at-risk mothers
- advocacy & public policy
- annual March for Life
- groups dedicated to prayer and organizing
Keeping in mind that prayer is the seed of all blessings, we pray that God will bless our nation and our commonwealth with a new devotion to justice; a deeper appreciation for the dignity of every human, no matter how small, sick, or outside the bounds of society; and a more earnest love for truth, goodness, and God himself.