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 firstname.lastname@example.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.)