Each year the Church in the United States celebrates October as Respect Life Month, and on Sunday, October 3rd, we celebrate Respect Life Sunday. This is a time we can use to deepen our understanding of why, as Catholics, we “Respect Life” and what that looks like day-to-day.
We are also in the midst of celebrating the Year of St. Joseph. So, this year, we are looking to the witness of St. Joseph as a defender of life. He didn’t hesitate to follow God’s will of faithfully caring for and protecting Jesus and the Blessed Mother. St. Joseph’s example reminds us that we are also to care for, protect, and defend the lives of our brothers and sisters.
In the Bible, we see that St. Joseph makes sacrifices out of his love for Jesus and Mary. Over and over, he shows himself to be a faithful protector of them both.
After an angel of God appeared to St. Joseph in a dream, he welcomed Mary into his home, even though her pregnancy was mysterious. On the long road to Bethlehem, Joseph guided and provided for Mary and the unborn Christ Child. He welcomed Jesus as his own son in a humble stable and loved Him with a father’s heart. When the infant Jesus’ life was threatened by Herod, Joseph left the comfort and familiarity of his
homeland and fled to Egypt with Mary and Jesus to protect Him. And as Jesus was growing up, He learned from Joseph to do the will of the Father. In every circumstance, St. Joseph cared for, defended, and protected the gift of life that had been given by God.
During this Respect Life Month, we can start to become more like St. Joseph by asking ourselves a few questions and reflecting on them: Do we realize how precious every person is? As we go about our day, do we treat people accordingly? How can we help those in our society who are struggling to welcome new life, like moms who are pregnant or parenting in difficult circumstances? How can we reach out to those having a hard time seeing the worth of their own lives? How do we reassure those at the end of life who are afraid they are a burden or feel like their lives don’t have meaning?
At times, we may feel like we can’t make a difference, or that we’re unequipped for what God is asking of us. But St. Joseph “teaches us that faith in God includes believing that he can work even through our fears, our frailties and our weaknesses” (PC, 2). When human life is threatened, when our brothers and sisters need support welcoming or embracing life, may we lovingly respond with the faithfulness of Joseph.
Respect Life Sunday
“Every human person—
no matter how vulnerable or helpless,
no matter how young or how old,
no matter how healthy,
handicapped or sick, no matter how useful or
productive for society—
is a being of inestimable worth created
in the image and likeness of God.”
– Saint Pope John Paul II
The first Sunday of October is “Respect Life Sunday” and October is Respect Life Month. The Church uses this time to highlight its central teaching on the dignity and sanctity of all human life, from “womb to tomb”. The Catholic Church proclaims that human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. This belief is the foundation of all the principles of our social teaching. Pope Francis reminds us, “we are called to protect our humanity, and this means, in the first place, accepting it and respecting is as it was created” (AL 56). Jesus teaches us the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, compelling us to provide for the dignity of all human life, to be a voice for the voiceless.
As Catholics, we believe that every person is precious, that people are more important than things, and that the measure of every institution is whether it threatens or enhances the life and dignity of the human person.
Learn about the Church’s teachings on special issues concerning the protection of human life, such as abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, human trafficking, human cloning, and research involving the destruction of human embryos.
This short reflection unpacks the 2021 Respect Life theme, “St. Joseph, defender of life, pray for us!” which in the Year of St. Joseph invites us to capture the witness of St. Joseph as a defender of life.
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Rosary Coast to Coast
We will gather at 3:45 pm on Sunday, October 10th, at the front porch of Most Precious Blood Catholic Church. We will then process at 3:55pm to the front of our church on Lockwood Blvd. and begin the Rosary at 4pm in unity with people across the nation. If you are unable to walk, let us know and we can have another group at the Rosary Garden or pray on the church porch. If you cannot come to church for any reason, please join us in prayer at 4pm and pray with us for our Nation.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or questions
In these challenging times when respect for life is so often disregarded, how do we build a culture that cherishes all human life? The answer goes back to our identity and call as Christians.
As Catholics, we know that death is the door through which we must pass to gain eternal life. Several considerations are provided as starting points for understanding and preparing
for our earthly passing in a way that respects God’s gift of human life.
If a friend told you she was pregnant and considering abortion, would you know what to do? Learn concrete tips for loving her in a way that is life-affirming for both her and her child.
This brief introduction to conscience addresses what it is, why it’s important, and how to form our consciences so they lead us into a deeper relationship with God and one another.
What does the Church say about the death penalty? Is it a pro-life topic? This brochure explores the issue of the death penalty within the context of respect for God’s gift of human life.
Polls indicate the public is receptive to the general concept of assisted suicide. However, when people understand the associated dangers, they are less likely to support the practice. Learn compelling reasons you can share for opposing assisted suicide.
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