MISSION: The Culture of Death will be Replaced with a Culture of Life and Love
The Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities: A Campaign in Support of Life is a clear and vigorous reaffirmation of the value of human life, and a pressing appeal to each and every person, in the name of God: respect, protect, love and serve life, every human life" (The Gospel of Life, no. 5)-- St. John Paul II. This link provides practical tools for starting a new Respect for Life ministry:
This link provides a wealth of information for Respect for Life ministries:
This link connects with monthly resources for USCCB Features of the Month:
- Form a ministry
In the Fall of 2018, Bishop Solis asked for all parishes and schools to have a respect for life ministry. Invite parishioners to join. Even youth may be a part of the ministry.
- Select a ministry chair, a secretary to take minutes, and a representative that will act as coordinator between the parish ministry and the Diocesean Respect for Life ministry. Sometimes the committee chair and the coordinator are the same person, but need not be. The Diocesan Respect for Life Chair also communicates directly to all involved parishes. See below for the email address.
- Review as a committee the USCCB Resources noted above.
- Establish regular meeting dates/times for the entire year. Consistency helps the ministry plan and participate better.
- Decide the frequency of activities. You may wish to meet monthly, or you may prefer quarterly.
For the complete Diocesan Respect for Life calendar for the year:
For the Year 2021, the following areas are being explored.
January: Beginning of Life concerns, particularly abortion
February: Marriage enrichment, including National Marriage Week
March: The Feast of the Annunciation is the Anniversary of Saint John Paul II's Gospel of Life. This month is dedicated to St. Joseph. Focus: Fetal Loss resources--Behold the Child.
April: Month of the Eucharist. We will be exploring and expanding End of Life Resources
May: Month of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and of Mother's day. We will be developing Post Abortion Healing/Project Rachel
June: The Feast of Corpus Christi, and Father’s Day. We will be providing Marriage Enrichment.
July: Focus on Prevention and Healing from Pornography
August: Theme is Capital Punishment
September: Theme is Stem Cell
October: Month of the Most Holy Rosary; prevention and healing from abortion
November: Walking with Mothers in Need, Suicide Prevention
The Respect for Life Diocesan Ministry will provide resources for each of these themes to any Parish Ministry with an interest in the theme of that month.
General Themes for Respect for Life Ministry
Beginning of Life
Embryonic Stem Cells
Support for Mothers In Need
Dignity in Living
Artificial Reproductive Technologies
Caring for the Vulnerable and those with Special Needs
Natural Family Planning
Stem Cells & Cloning
End of Life
Option One: Monthly Themes:
There are three general themes that can be followed throughout each month of the year: Beginning of Life, Dignity in Living, and End of Life. This is a comprehensive list of areas you may want to explore in your parish over time. You may want to use Diocesan resources, or explore your own parish resources, on a monthly basis.
Option Two: Three Month Cycle
This style of parish ministry is focused around a more in-depth approach. A single theme and topic are chosen to be explored for a full 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 use some of the Diocesan level events to enhance what they do locally. You might want to take a month off for the holidays or a summer break, which is just fine. After finishing a cycle, you just start another. You don't have to be tied down to a twelve month schedule. The ministry can keep a healthy rotation, and focus on your favorites!
Be sure to review your plan with your pastor well ahead of the time you plan to launch the events.