RESPECT LIFE

ACTION GUIDES

These Respect Life action guides* provide actionable, ready-to-go parish resources created to complement existing parish life. Structured around six main calendar occasions, these action guides are designed help you take advantage of natural opportunities to highlight and integrate Respect Life themes in your parish, school, or ministry. ​Each action guide includes sample timelines, bulletin announcements, intercessions, homily helps, activities, and more to help you build a culture of life.

Learn more in our FAQ...

Use the buttons to jump to each action guide!

*These action guides, originally developed as part of the 2019 Respect Life Program, are in the process of being updated with minimal changes for perennial use and will be posted on this page as they become available. The 2019 action guides can be found in the 2019 Respect Life Resource Guide

 
Anniversary of Roe v. Wade | January

Action Guide

Parish Webinar

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This Action Guide includes:

  • Introduction 

  • "Simple Steps"

  • Sample Timeline 

  • Sample Announcements 

  • Sample Intercessions 

  • Homily Helps 

  • Sample Activity 

*All components are also available as individual PDF files.

USCCB staff explain how to use the provided materials during the month of January.

Supplementary Resources

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), no. 373, designates January 22 as a particular day of prayer and penance, called the “Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children.” The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops provides resources to help parishes, schools, families, ministries, and individual Catholics participate in this important day of prayer and penance.

Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord | March

Action Guide

Parish Webinar

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This Action Guide includes:

  • Introduction 

  • "Simple Steps"

  • Sample Timeline 

  • Sample Announcements 

  • Sample Intercessions 

  • Homily Helps 

  • Sample Activity 

USCCB staff explain how to use the provided materials during the month of March.

*All components are also available as individual PDF files.

Supplementary Resources

 

In modern times, the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord has taken on special meaning in Respect Life ministry. Scientific advances have allowed us to confirm that human life begins at conception. This solemnity calls us to reflect on how we are to care for, protect, and welcome new life, as the Blessed Mother did for the Christ child. 

 
Sunday of Divine Mercy | April

Each year, on the Second Sunday of Easter, the Church celebrates the Sunday of Divine Mercy.  It provides an important opportunity to share Christ’s message of mercy, especially with those who have been wounded by abortion.  By the age of 45, as many as 1 in 3 women have had an abortion, and a similar number of men and family members have been involved. Many inaccurately feel that abortion is “the unforgivable sin.” They need to hear that God forgives every sin of a repentant heart, even the sin of abortion. 

Action Guide

Parish Webinar

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This Action Guide includes:

  • Introduction 

  • "Simple Steps"

  • Sample Timeline 

  • Sample Announcements 

  • Sample Intercessions 

  • Homily Helps 

  • Sample Activity 

*All components are also available as individual PDF files.

USCCB staff explain how to use the provided materials during the month of April.

Supplementary Resources

 
Mother's Day | May

Mother’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to highlight the beautiful vocation of motherhood and the gift of life. It calls us to cherish the gift of life that we receive from our mothers and to pray for all women to whom God has entrusted life in a very special way. As we pray in thanksgiving for the gift of all mothers, we also specifically remember mothers experiencing difficult pregnancies and pray they may find support and encouragement in choosing life for their children.

Action Guide

Parish Webinar

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This Action Guide includes:

  • Introduction 

  • "Simple Steps"

  • Sample Timeline 

  • Sample Announcements 

  • Sample Intercessions 

  • Homily Helps 

  • Sample Activity 

*All components are also available as individual PDF files.

USCCB staff explain how to use the provided materials during the month of May.

Supplementary Resources

 
Father's Day | June

Fatherhood has its origins in God, who chose to reveal Himself to us as Our Father, sending his only Son for the sake of our salvation. Fathers therefore have a special role “in revealing and in reliving on earth the very fatherhood of God” (Familiaris consortio 25). Father’s Day is an appropriate time to recall the essential role of fathers in the life of the family and in building a culture of life. It is also an opportunity to highlight spiritual fatherhood, which all men are called to embrace.

Action Guide

Parish Webinar

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This Action Guide includes:

  • Introduction 

  • "Simple Steps"

  • Sample Timeline 

  • Sample Announcements 

  • Sample Intercessions 

  • Homily Helps 

  • Sample Activity 

*All components are also available as individual PDF files.

USCCB staff explain how to use the provided materials during the month of June.

Supplementary Resources

 
Respect Life Month | October

Each October the Church in the United States celebrates Respect Life Month, and the first Sunday of October is observed as Respect Life Sunday. As Catholics, we are called to cherish, defend, and protect those who are most vulnerable, from the beginning of life to its end, and at every point in between. During the month of October, the Church asks us to reflect more deeply on the dignity of every human life.

Action Guide

Parish Webinar

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This Action Guide includes:

  • Introduction 

  • "Simple Steps"

  • Sample Timeline 

  • Sample Announcements 

  • Sample Intercessions 

  • Homily Helps 

  • Sample Activity 

*All components are also available as individual PDF files.

USCCB staff explain how to use the provided materials during the month of October.

Supplementary Resources

 
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
What is an action guide?

Each action guide focuses on a specific occasion that relates to respect for human life and gives natural opportunities for building a culture that protects, cherishes, and celebrates life. The guides feature tools to help you build such a culture in your own parish or school. 

 

They contain sample timelines, “simple steps,” activities, sample announcements, sample intercessions, and homily helps. Each contains ways to help you integrate your efforts into regular programming, so as to reach the greatest number of people in a given parish, school, or ministry—all without having to plan separate events. (Although, ideas for separate events are also included).
 

Who are the action guides for?

While the action guides have been developed primarily with parishes in mind, they also offer ideas for adaptation for use in schools, ministries, and even by families at home. These action guides can be used by diocesan, parish, school, and ministry staff and volunteers, as well as anyone who desires to build a culture of life in their particular faith community.
 

How do I use these action guides?

The action guides are intended to help you integrate respect for human life into your respective work and/or ministries. While dates and general timelines are often provided, they are only included as suggestions. You're welcome to use any of the ideas and activities included in the action guides at any time. 

 

While suggested action steps are provided, you are encouraged to adapt each guide as needed to best serve your parish, school, or ministry. When implementing these action guides, always remember to follow local policies and procedures, especially regarding safe environment and health guidelines. If you have any questions about local policies, consult your diocese, parish, school, or ministry staff. 

 

The provided action guides are meant to serve as basic frameworks and jumping off points for your own creative ideas. Don’t be afraid to make these plans and activities your own. We’d love to see how you use the action guides. Let us know what you’re doing by emailing prolife@usccb.org, or tag us on Facebook (USCCB Respect Life) or Twitter (@usccbprolife).

Thank you for your dedication to building a culture in which every human life is cherished!