"Each child is created in the special image and likeness of God for greater things — to love and to be loved." ~ Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Forming a Parish Respect Life Committee

The Diocesan Respect Life Office is available to assist with as little or as much support as necessary by calling Peter Range 419-244-6711 ext. 220 or by e-mail prange@toledodiocese.org.

Forming a Committee

Contact the pastor about starting a Respect Life Committee in your parish and establish:

  • Issues for focus – abortion, stem cell research, assisted suicide, dignity of the human person, chastity, etc.
  • Group activities – prayer opportunities, education about issues, advocacy for legislation, etc.
  • How the group would function – meeting space, keeping the pastor informed/involved, specific events for focus, etc.

With the pastor’s permission in place, solicit group members through:

  • Bulletin announcements
  • Direct invitation
  • An informational meeting
  • Pulpit announcement
  • Website or social media sites

Possible Activities for Parish Respect Life Committees

  • Arrange for prayer services
  • Pray outside abortion clinics or Planned Parenthood sites
  • Pray outside prisons housing death penalty inmates
  • Make phone calls or send e-mails to state and federal legislators on Life Issues being addressed – find legislative contact information at www.ohiocathconf.org
  • Write editorials in local papers speaking out on behalf of Life Issues
  • Volunteer for Heartbeat or local pregnancy centers
  • Raise funds for supplies, rent, and utilities needed by families who choose life
  • Spiritual adoption – invite parishioners to spiritually adopt a child in danger of being aborted and pray throughout the nine months of pregnancy for that child. A bulletin board sharing the names chosen by those praying with pictures of a child’s development is powerful.
  • Baby shower – collect items to be used at pregnancy centers such as diapers, wipes, lotions, clothes, etc.
  • Rosary for Life – see prayer section
  • Masses for Life – preparation and permission of the pastor is essential
  • Signature ads – have parishioners sign a statement in support of life for publication in a local paper
  • Holy Hour – establish a consistent prayer opportunity of Eucharistic Adoration for Life
  • Pamphlet racks – pamphlets in keeping with church teaching can be purchased or downloaded at www.usccb.org/prolife
  • Pro-Life library – provide DVDs, CDs and reading materials on life topics
  • Sermons for Life – encourage the pastor to speak for life when appropriate
  • Local March for Life – develop a March for Life for the parish, town, or county which includes information about abortions and prayer
  • Washington D.C. March for Life – arrange to join a group going to the January 22 March or initiate a bus trip for the parish
  • Monthly bulletin life quote – place a short statement or fact about life in the parish bulletin
  • Fetal model display – place this display so parishioners can view it continuously
  • Display a Pro-Life banner – when an event offers an opportunity
  • Pro-Life booth at festivals or fairs – display information, DVD of life development, fetal model, brochures, etc.
  • March in a local parade – use a sign as a statement and handouts if possible
  • Pro-Life speakers – speakers are available through the Diocese of Toledo-Catholic Charities Office
  • Pro-Life items for youth – items that are appropriate for teens with a statement for Life
  • Booklets for Advent & Lent devotion – enriching the faith life of parishioners
  • Mother’s & Father’s Day – provide a prayer or small reminder of parents’ important role in human life
  • Memorial crosses – display small crosses as a remembrance of those aborted or affected by abortion
  • Education – arrange for presentations or flyers for the parish
  • Project Rachel announcement – assure that the parish bulletin offers the monthly contact information for those who are post-abortive
  • Knights of Columbus – link parish pro-life activities with local councils
  • Theology of the Body – arrange for a presentation or DVD on this Culture of Life topic by contacting the Diocesan Respect Life Office
  • Natural Family Planning (NFP) – arrange a presentation on this Culture of Life topic by contacting the Diocesan Offices at 1-800-926-8277 (outside of Toledo) or 419-244-6711 (in the Toledo area)

Respect Life Committee Leadership

  • Committee Leader – facilitates the meeting, connects with the pastor, and communicates with the Diocesan Respect Life Office
  • Secretary – records the minutes of the meeting which helps assure accuracy of the information shared
  • Information Officer/Committee – researches life issues prior to meetings that might be addressed
  • Prayer Coordinator – selects and leads prayer for each meeting which includes an opening and closing prayer
  • Fellowship Officer/Committee – provides light snacks at meetings for an opportunity for fellowship within the group
  • Communications Coordinator/Committee – writes announcements and information for the bulletin, website / social media, newspaper, etc.

Suggested Outline for Monthly Respect Life Meetings

  • Opening prayer
  • Information concerning Life Issues
  • Discussion open to all members
  • Decision on the action to be taken to address Life Issues
  • Closing prayer
  • Fellowship (Fellowship may also be initiated at the beginning or within the meeting.)

Our Mission

Catholic Charities makes real the love God has for each individual regardless of faith or background, by serving the poor, speaking for and assisting the neglected and forgotten, respecting and promoting life from beginning to end, and nurturing and supporting individuals and families.

Catholic Charities Northwest Ohio

 

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