God’s Masterpieces: Respect Life Month 2014

Because God created human being in his image, all people share in the divine dignity.  And because the Bible reveals God’s calling and care of persons before they are born, the preborn share in this dignity (Ps. 139:13). 

elderly womanWhat has become a cultural norm – abortion, is against God’s law to protect and nurture the unborn. But, it’s not only protecting the unborn, but the disabled, the vulnerable and those who have no one to stand for them.

Each October since 1972, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) sets aside a month designated to draw attention to the numerous human life issues and to reflect on and pray for greater respect for the sanctity and dignity of life.

October is Respect Life Month, and this year’s theme, Each of Us is a Masterpiece of God’s Creation, was adapted from a quote from Pope Francis’s Day for Life greeting from 2013 – “Even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect.”

Posters, pamphlets and bulletin inserts for parishes to use during Respect Life Month can be ordered online in both English and Spanish at www.usccb.org/respectlife.

In our diocese, the Diocesan Center for Family Life has planned a number of events through the month.

Once again this year, the 40 Days for Life begins on Sept. 24 through Nov. 2, and will take place at two locations – A Woman’s Choice of Jacksonville, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and at Bread & Roses Women’s Health Center in Gainesville, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday.  Volunteers are asked to stand in solidarity and prayer for at least one hour at these locations.

On the first Sunday of Respect Life Month – Oct. 5 – parishes and priests are encouraged to preach for life and use the intercessions for life.

Also Oct. 5 is Life Chain Sunday, a peaceful and prayerful public witness of pro-life individuals standing for 90 minutes praying for our nation and for an end to abortion. Check with your paarish Respect Life coordinator for locations and times or visit www.dcfl.org.

Each year, a different diocese in the state takes turn in hosting the statewide Respect Life Conference. This year, the Diocese of St. Petersburg is hosting the conference on Oct. 24-25 in Tampa. Various sessions on post-abortion healing, human trafficking, presentations on Florida’s death row IVF and others are planned. All are welcome to attend. For more information or to register for the conference, visit http://life.dosp.org.

One of the most visibly signs of Respect Life Month is the Cemetery of the Innocent/Cross Project. Parishes throughout the diocese put up white crosses in memory of the unborn during the month of Oct.

Youth of our diocese are also involved in the activities. On Oct. 9, youth groups and high school and college students will participate in National Pro-Life Cupcake Day – http://cupcakesforlife.com, and on Oct. 21, there will be Pro-Life day of Silent Solidarity – http://www.silentday.org.

Check out the Respect Life Page on http://dcfl.org/respectlifemonth/ for more information.


Cardinal O’Malley launches 2014-2015 program with Respect Life Month statement [Read statement]