LEADERS' KIT

Clergy

This leaders' kit is provided to help priests and deacons build a culture of life in their parishes throughout the year by integrating Respect Life themes whenever they best fit into the life of their parish. The provided resources, ideas, and activities are only suggestions. We encourage you to adapt them as necessary for your parish community. Feel free to get creative as you build "an authentic civilization of truth and love" (Evangelium vitae, 6).

Check out our Action Guides for additional ideas and step-by-step instructions for highlighting Respect Life themes year-round!

RESPECT LIFE MONTH STATEMENT

COMING SOON!

 

Check back in late September for a message from Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities. 

Consider reading it yourself and reflecting on what you can do in your role to help build a culture of life among the flock God has entrusted to your care. You are also welcome to use it to inspire your own reflection to share with your parish community.

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POSTER & PRAYER CARD

Consider hanging the Respect Life poster in a prominent place in your parish. The poster and prayer card highlight four scenes from the life of St. Joseph that help illustrate his protection of the gift of human life.

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HOMILY HELPS

Bulleted homily notes are provided to help priests and deacons preach on the Church’s teachings on human life. The provided notes can be used in their entirety as an overall framework or piecemeal as supplementary points. 

Find additional homily notes for various occasions throughout the year in our Action Guides.

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HOMILY CONSIDERATIONS

REGARDING HEALING AFTER 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. Because of this, some members of the clergy are hesitant to preach about Respect Life topics, particularly abortion. Sometimes they avoid this topic for fear of causing pain to those in their parish community who have been wounded by an abortion experience.

However, the merciful words of a priest or deacon can be a pivotal moment in the healing process. Many wrongly believe that abortion is “the unforgivable sin.” They may be longing to hear that God desires to forgive every sin of those who are sorry, even the sin of abortion.

Window Light in Church

We have put together a set of Homily Considerations Regarding Healing After Abortion to help equip priests and deacons to address these topics in their homily and proclaim the Lord's mercy to those who are in need of a message of hope and healing.

REFLECTION

This short reflection unpacks the role of St. Joseph as defender of life. It explores how throughout his life Joseph acted as the faithful protector of both Mary and Jesus.

 

You can use the reflection to help inspire a homily highlighting Respect Life topics at any time of year. ​The reflection could also be used as the basis for a talk for parishioners or a weekly "Pastor's Corner" in the bulletin.

INTERCESSIONS

Prayer is the basis of all our efforts to build a culture of life. The provided intercessions are appropriate for use during Mass in the Prayer of the Faithful. Several of these intentions can be used throughout the year. 

These intercessions could also be included in lists of prayer intentions published in the bulletin. Or, if you have a regular Holy Hour or parish Rosary, consider including them among the opening or closing prayers.

Children Praying

For all Catholics:
That on this Respect Life Sunday
our resolve may be strengthened
to uphold the dignity
of every human life;
We pray to the Lord:

 

That during this Respect Life Month
our resolve will be strengthened

to cherish and protect
the gift of every human life;
We pray to the Lord:

"...in our daily prayer as individuals and as a community, praise and bless God our Father, who knitted us together in our mother's womb..."

Evangelium vitae, 84

That the life of every person,
from conception to natural death,
will be protected in our laws
and cherished in our hearts;
We pray to the Lord:  

For women and men suffering after abortion:
May the Church’s abortion healing ministry,

Project Rachel, help them find peace and healing
through Christ’s endless mercy;
We pray to the Lord:

 

For those nearing the end of life:
May they receive care that respects their dignity
and protects their lives

as they place their hope
in the promise of eternal life;
We pray to the Lord:

 

May God grant us the wisdom and courage
to lovingly protect His gift of human life
at every stage, in sickness and in health;
We pray to the Lord:

Looking for more intercessions to use in your parish year-round?

 

Check out our series of Action Guides, which each include additional intercessions that are connected to annual observances and liturgical feasts. You can also subscribe to our monthly parish liturgical resource, Word of Life.

BULLETIN

BOXES

Bulletin boxes are summaries of longer articles that are perfect for including in your weekly parish bulletin or other regular newsletters. They are perfect for use when space is at a premium! (Each bulletin box also includes a web address for those who would like to read the full article.)

Consider featuring a different bulletin box in the bulletin each month. You can also mention the Respect Life topic highlighted in the bulletin during your homily. These article summaries cover a wide range of Respect Life topics, and many are pastorally focused.

The bulletin boxes are available in English and Spanish.

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GRAPHICS

These and many other graphics are available for use throughout your parish. Feature them in bulletins, newsletters, monitor displays, and more! 

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Models used for illustrative purposes only. Photos courtesy of Wix.com. Excerpts from Evangelium vitae © 1995, Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Used with permission. All rights reserved.