Greetings and blessings in this Respect Life Month! The theme this year, inspired by the call of our Pope Francis to all people of good will, is "Open your hearts to life!" Cardinal Se�n O'Malley, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, explains in his Respect Life Statement:
We must respond to Pope Francis' call with great urgency. Opening our hearts to life in Christ empowers us for loving, merciful action toward others . . . Only a tender, compassionate love that seeks to serve those most in need, whatever the personal cost, is strong enough to overcome a culture of death and to build a civilization of love. (entire statement)
By now you should have received the Respect Life packet for your parish; I encourage you to make an appointment to sit down with your pastor to walk through the packet and determine what resources would best suit your parish. USCCB resources for Respect Life Month may also be found online here.
This month there are a multitude of opportunities for your parish community to support the cause of life. The 40 Days for Life-Dallas campaign started last week with an inspiring Kickoff Rally and an unbroken chain of 24/7 prayer outside the Southwestern late-term abortion center ever since. If your parish has not adopted a day of prayer yet, please contact our vigil coordinator Jackie Crawford at email@example.com or 903-879-5999 today to select your day or part of a day (click here for adopted day calendar). Promotional and instructional items for your parish participation is available here. We still have open days and would love 100% participation from all of our parishes in this global campaign!
If you do nothing else this month, don't miss the events on Saturday, October 19! The day will begin with theRespect Life Month Mass
at 8 a.m. at St. Patrick in Dallas
celebrated by Bishop Deshotel.
Bishop Deshotel will impart a special blessing
upon all who work or volunteer in Respect Life ministries. Following the Mass, Fathers Josef Vollmer-K�nig and Ambrose Strong, O.Cist.,
will lead a Rosary Procession (by bus) to the Southwestern late-term abortion center, the 40 Days for Life-Dallas vigil site, and then return to the church for closing Benediction.
But that's not all! 40 Days for Life-Dallas is also hosting the Youth Day and Midway Picnic & Rally on October 19,beginning at 11:30 a.m. with youth (and their chaperones) gathering in Harry Moss Park (at Greenville and Royal across from the vigil site) for a prayerful balloon demonstration. At 1:00 p.m., all are invited to picnic in the park with food, music and great speakers including Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa, President of New Wave Feminists, Ramona Trevi�o, former Planned Parenthood manager, and Father Ambrose Strong, O.Cist. It will be a great day for families and friends to celebrate life!! Please join us and spread the word!
In addition to the October 19 events, below are some additional opportunities to mark Respect Life Month:
And please be sure to mark your calendar for the next Parish Pro-Life Coordinators Meeting on November 9 at Blessed Sacrament Parish. If you can't attend, please send a representative to receive important information about next year's Roe Memorial Events, plus much more!
Also in November is our annual Christ Child Christmas Gift Market and Luncheon at the DoubleTree Hotel benefiting the CPLC, as well as the White Rose Women's Centers and Birth Choice of Dallas. This year's luncheon will feature Father Reuben Chen of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. And as always, you can shop the market for free, without attending the luncheon. Visit prolifedallas.org/luncheon for more details and to make your luncheon reservations.
Finally, I'd like to share some sad news about the loss of a great defender of life, a very active Knight of Columbus, and a true friend. Chris Matera was only 57 years old when he went home to the Lord in August. For several years, Chris was the Parish Pro-Life Coordinator at St. Michael the Archangel Church in McKinney. His passing reminds us of how beautiful and fragile life is, and that we should protect it from conception to natural death. So often, because abortion is so prevalent in our society, and because unborn babies are so innocent and vulnerable, we understandably tend to focus on the beginning of life; however, we should remember that the end of life must also be respected. We can never take steps that will hasten a person's death, even if we want to save the one who is suffering. God's plan for us may entail suffering at the final stages of life. Chris accepted God's plan and offered his sufferings back to Him. Like Chris, we must allow the Lord to work in us every moment we are here on this earth. Let us pray for Chris and ask for his intercessory prayers in the continuing battle to defend life.
I hope you all have a meaningful and blessed Respect Life Month. Please let us know what activities your parish is planning for this month to reflect and advocate for the greatest cause of all -- LIFE!