The annual Respect Life Program is a year-round, nationwide effort to help Catholics understand, value, and become engaged with building a culture that cherishes every human life.
Although sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Respect Life Program is essentially comprised of the efforts of leaders throughout the Church like you—parish priests, staff, and volunteers; teachers and school administrators; diocesan leaders; and so many others.
The U.S. bishops produce materials each October to assist you in your efforts. Instead of acting as stand-alone resources, they are designed to be brought to life as tools in your hands—build off or adapt them to fit your specific needs!
October 2018 Respect Life Reflection
In 1531, when the indigenous peoples of Mexico were subjugated and the practice of human sacrifice was still a recent memory, the Mother of God appeared to St. Juan Diego as a pregnant native woman, now known as Our Lady of Guadalupe.
She sent him with miraculous flowers in his cloak to tell the bishop to build a church where people could receive her Son and her loving, tender care. When St. Juan Diego opened the cloak before the bishop, an image of Our Lady was revealed that remains to this day. The chapel was quickly built, millions embraced Christianity, and the Church increased its protection of the indigenous peoples.
By embracing the mission entrusted to him, St. Juan Diego helped bring Christ’s transforming love to cultures gripped by oppression and death.
Today, we again see the dignity of human life disregarded. Unborn children are destroyed through abortion, and ill people are encouraged and assisted to take their own lives. How do we respond?
The essence of our identity is that we are created in God’s image and likeness and loved by Him. Nothing can diminish the priceless worth of any human life. Every person is cherished.
God creates every person for eternal union with Himself and continually invites us to embrace a loving relationship with Him. Every person is chosen.
We are called to be messengers of God’s love, treating one another as cherished and chosen by Him. In doing so, we help build a culture that respects all human life. Every person is sent.
Like St. Juan Diego, let us embrace our daily mission to help others encounter God’s transforming, life-giving love.
Additional Respect Life resources are available here.
Bulletin cover, social media graphics, web banner and other images available here.
Reprinted (excerpted) from Respect Life Program, copyright © 2018, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.