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August 2023

Respect Life Month Resources: Radical Solidarity

In October we celebrate Respect Life Month. The new materials for this year focus on our call to radical solidarity with mothers and their children.

FREE resources are available to help your parish, school, or ministry inspire Catholics to serve mothers in need in your local community.

Materials include:

  • Prayer
  • Poster
  • Reflection
  • Graphics
  • and more!

You can use the provided materials to help build a culture of life and a community of support for pregnant and parenting mothers in your parish.


In the News:

Pro-life advocate wins bishops’ award for decades of service

Hannah Heil

The Catholic Times

July 24, 2023

"'God doesn’t call the equipped; He equips the called.'

These words could describe much of Margaret 'Peggy' Hartshorn’s 50 years in the pro-life and pregnancy help movement.

Hartshorn, who lives in Columbus and serves as chairman of the board of Heartbeat International, a network of pro-life pregnancy resource centers, was among those honored with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) People of Life Award on July 16...

In 1975, she and her husband, Mike, began housing pregnant women. They installed a 24/7 hotline in their bedroom to be available to help women...

'Our calling into pregnancy help started in 1975 when we housed our first girl, and it just kept gradually growing through the ’80s,' she said. 

... Heartbeat International now has more than 100 full- and part-time staff members and 3,000 affiliated pregnancy help locations, which include medical clinics with ultrasounds, resource centers, maternity homes and adoption agencies in more than 80 countries worldwide...

'The best alternative to abortion is another person,' Hartshorn said. 'Women are desperate. If you can connect them with someone who will walk with them, most of the time they will choose life.'

Hartshorn recommended that individuals wanting to get involved in the pregnancy help movement utilize Walking with Moms in Need, a program developed by the USCCB Pro-Life Committee.

The program offers resources and leadership materials, available at www.walkingwithmoms.com, that equip parishioners to support mothers who are in need in their parish or neighborhood.

'It’s a way that the Church can collaborate with those already involved in Walking with Moms in Need,' she said. 'Maybe new programs are needed, but maybe what’s really needed is collaborating with programs that already exist.'...

One way parishioners can get involved is by partnering with their local pregnancy centers, Hartshorn said, to host a baby shower or volunteer at the center.

'We need to be there when they think, ‘This is the end of my life as I know it' ... When we can be there, walking with them, walking with moms in need, we can really exercise our Christian duty to be the Good Samaritan and love others as we love the Lord.'"


‘God and somebody next to you’

Zoey Maraist

The Arlington Catholic Herald

June 13, 2023

"Nine months ago, Fabiola learned that beneath her own heart beat the tiny heart of her unborn child. And though he was with her, she felt incredibly alone.

Thankfully, she didn’t feel that way for long. Throughout her pregnancy, an 'angel' or peer companion from the Gabriel Project of St. Leo the Great Church in Fairfax supported her. The parish-based ministry offers prenatal care assistance, financial assistance, emotional and spiritual support, and referrals to parish ministries and diocesan Catholic Charities...

Fabiola, her boyfriend and her daughter came to the United States from their native Bolivia 10 months ago, leaving the politically unstable and economically depressed country in hopes of a better life in Virginia close to one of Fabiola’s friends. But after Fabiola learned she was pregnant, her boyfriend left. She was in a country where she didn’t speak the language, with no health insurance and no partner. Though she worked in a bank in Bolivia, here she cleaned houses until she couldn’t. She felt worried and sad...

[Zola Ellington] and others from St. Leo helped Fabiola, connecting her with Tepeyac OB/GYN in Fairfax for prenatal care, as well as providing financial and emotional support.

'I was feeling very lonely but once (I was placed with an angel), I felt like, ‘OK, I am going to give everything to God — God has my baby and my life in his hands,’' said Fabiola through a translator. 'I felt like there really was an angel helping me at this time of my life.'"


Prayer Intention

May mothers and their children have access to quality, life-affirming medical care.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be...

Prayer Cards Available

Our Prayer for Pregnant Mothers is available in English and Spanish for free download. It can also be ordered as a beautiful prayer card.

USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities

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