Catholic Faith Formation and Education
Respect Life Ministry

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Respect Life Ministry in the Albany Diocese

“Every child who, rather than being born, is condemned unjustly to being aborted, bears the face of Jesus Christ, bears the face of the Lord, who even before he was born, and then just after birth, experienced the world’s rejection. … And every elderly person, even if he is ill or at the end of his days, bears the face of Christ. They cannot be discarded, as the “throwaway culture” suggests! They cannot be thrown away!"
- Pope Francis, January 22, 2014

In promoting a “Culture of Life” versus a “Culture of Death” or, as Pope Francis puts it, “the ‘throwaway culture’”, there is a wide variety of issues that touch upon the protection of human life and the promotion of human dignity. Our Church is committed to a consistent ethic of life, one which recognizes the distinctive character of each of these issues while giving each its proper place within a coherent moral vision.

Although the Catholic Bishops of the United States note that abortion plays a central role among the important issues of our day involving the dignity of human life, it is not the only issue with which we are faced. Their Secretariat for Pro Life Activities identifies many challenges to promoting the Gospel of Life, including:

Click on the topic (above) to access the US Bishops’ Conference’s website resources on it.

In the Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities our bishops renewed their call for individual Catholics and the many institutions and organizations of the Church to unite in an unprecedented effort to restore respect and legal protection for every human life – to be what Pope John Paul II asked us to be: a people of life and a people for life (The Gospel of Life, no. 78). To this end, they called for:

  1. Public Information and Education to deepen understanding of the sanctity of human life and the humanity of unborn children, the moral evil of intentionally killing innocent human beings – whether at the beginning of life or at its end – and the mission of the Church to witness and serve all human life.

  2. Pastoral Care for women with problems related to pregnancy; for all who have been involved in abortion; for those who are disabled, sick, and dying, and their families and caregivers; for those who have lost loved ones to violent crime; and for those in prison sentenced to death.

  3. Public Policy efforts directed to restoring legal protection to the lives of unborn children and those vulnerable to pressures to end their lives by assisted suicide, and to providing morally acceptable alternatives to abortion and assisted suicide.
  4. Prayer and Worship directed to participation in the sacramental life of the Church and in programs of communal and individual prayer, that the culture of death that surrounds us today will be replaced by a culture of life and love

The Albany Diocese’s Respect Life Ministry is designed to promote this Pastoral Plan and recognizes that the effectiveness of these efforts depends on the pro-life/respect life education and public policy activities generated by parish based pro-life/respect life committees. The diocesan office serves as a clearing house, providing information and resources via email and this webpage to assist parishes, schools and pro-life volunteers in the Albany Diocese to keep abreast of current life isues and what we as Catholic can do to respect and support life at all ages and conditions.

It almost goes without saying that prayer is of the utmost importance.

All of us can proclaim and serve the Gospel of Life through peaceful activism, education, prayer and service. Meet the challenge. Speak out with determination, courage and patience. Advocate for the sanctity of life whenever and wherever it is threatened.

Choose Life!

Stephen Mawn
Director: Catechist Formation & Respect Life Ministry
Catholic School Office