USCCB Pastoral Plan for Pro Life Activities

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Initial Steps

  1. Form a committee
    In the Fall of 2018, Bishop Solis asked for all parishes and schools to have a respect for life committee.  Invite parishioners to join the committee, even youth may be a part of the committee.
  2. Select a committee chair, a secretary to take minutes, and a representative that will act as coordinator between the parish committee and your deanery (regional area of the diocese).  The priests’ deanery will elect one person to act as the liaison between all the RFL Parish Coordinators and that deanery. This is how information flows from the local level to the regional, and finally the diocesan level.  Sometimes the committee chair and the coordinator are the same person, but need not be.
  3. Review as a committee the Parish Guidelines issued by the diocese.
  4. Establish regular meeting dates/times for the entire year.  Consistency helps the committee plan and participate better.
  5. Decide the frequency of activities.  There are some suggested Parish Kits on the diocesan website that might be appealing.

Themes

Beginning of Life

Abortion
Adoption
Cloning
Embrionic Stem Cells
Foster Care
Support for Mothers In Need

Dignity in Living

Artificial Contraception
Artificial Reproductive Technologies
Caring for the Vulnerable and those with Special Needs
Chastity
Gender Theory
Natural Family Planning
Pornography
Post-abortion Healing
Same-sex Attraction
Stem Cells & Cloning

End of Life

Advanced Directives
Assisted Suicide
Capital Punishment
Euthanasia
Suicide

Possibilities:

Option One: Monthly Themes

There are three main themes that can be followed: Beginning of Life, Dignity in Living, and End of Life.  You will see below that each month is assigned one of these themes as a suggestion for better balance and rotation. Items with an asterisk are regular diocesan events, so that in your planning you can consider participating with other Catholics throughout Utah.  Additional events by outside groups, national events and suggested ideas are provided.

 January 

 Beginning of Life

 February 

 Dignity In Living

 March 

 End of Life

 April 

 Parish Chooses Theme

 May 

 Parish Chooses Theme

 June 

 Parish Chooses Theme

 July 

 Parish Chooses Theme

 August 

 End of Life

September 

Theme based on Pastoral Congress

October 

Beginning of Life

November 

Dignity In Living

December 

Parish Chooses Theme

 Option Two: Three Month Cycle

This style of committee work is focused around a more in-depth approach to the respect for life ministry.  A single theme and topic are chosen for a three month period.

The first month is for education on the topic.  During this time the committee invites the parish to join them in learning more about the topic.  There could be reading materials chosen, video, podcasts, website updates to links of additional material, and additional marketing to the parish.  The goal in the first month is to educate the entire community along with the committee members.  Everyone learns together.

The second month is dedicated to preparing an activity for the parish to engage the given topic.  Ideally, the planning processes flows from what was discovered in the education month.  Connecting the education and planning is about helping the community be deliberate, thoughtful, prayerful and proactive in the activity of the parish's efforts in the respect for life movement.  Soliciting ideas for the planning from the community is an excellent idea when possible, i.e. helping people move from knowledge to action.

Finally, in the third month, the activity that was planned is carried out.

This approach can be rewarding in bringing about greater education and taking more time to engage topics.  A committee could complete four topics per year and sprinkle in diocesan level events to enhance what they are doing locally.  A committee could focus on the Beginning of Life theme, Dignity of Living theme, End of Life theme, and then double up on their favorite theme to round out the year.  Keep in mind, taking a month off for the holidays or a summer break, doesn't impede this method.  After finishing a cycle, you just start another.  There is no need to tie it down to a twelve month schedule.  The committee would be encouraged to keep a healthy rotation, and do double up on your favorites!

Common Diocesan*, National, and Other Events

  • 40 Days for Life (begins Dec./ends Jan) *
  • Mass for the Unborn (Jan) *Utah Respect for Life March (Jan) *
  • Holy Day of Obligation, Mary Mother of the Lord (Jan. 1) Roe vs. Wade Remembrance (Jan. 22)
  • Utah Legislative General Session begins the end of January. This is a good month to become educated on any life issues on the Hill. (Feb)
  • Day of the Unborn Child (Mar 25), 25th Anniversary of the Encyclical “The Gospel of Life” (“Evangelium Vitae”) of St. John Paul International Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Terri Schindler-Schiavo, and all of our vulnerable brothers and sisters, terrisday.organd www.lifeandhope.com (Mar)
  • Crossroads Walkers arrive in Utah: Mass, prayer procession to abortion clinic, prayer vigil at clinic (May)
  • National Right to Life Convention, NRLConvention.com(Jun).
  • Diocesan Pastoral Congress (Sep) *
  • National Respect for Life Month (Oct)
  • National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children (Oct. 5)
  • Life Chain Event (Oct)
  • Catholic Community Services Annual Humanitarian Awards Dinner (fund raiser) (Oct/Nov)
  • Pregnancy Resource Center Annual Dinner (fund raiser) (Oct/Nov)
  • Utah Legislators begin filing legislation after an election (mid Nov)
  • 40 Days for Life (begins Dec / ends January) *
  • National Night of Prayer for Life, NationalNightofPrayerForLife.org(Dec 8)