Respect Life Ministry
Current Legislative Challenges
Internet Resources for Respect Life Ministry and Related Issues
Respect Life Ministry in the Albany Diocese
Roe v. Wade Anniversary
DC March for Life, Youth Rally & Mass
The March for Life began as a small demonstration and rapidly grew to be the largest pro-life event in the world. The peaceful demonstration that has followed on this somber anniversary every year since 1973 is a witness to the truth concerning the greatest human rights violation of our time, abortion.
On the National Mall (at 12th Street), the event will begin with a musical opening at 11:45am. The Rally will start at noon and will be followed at 1pm by the March. Marchforlife.org has a map of the march route available online. March organizers are encouraging participants to listen to Silent no More testimonies outside the US Supreme Court around 3pm and then visit their Representative or Senator to advocate for life after 3:30pm. There are a variety of events that will be taking place the day before, the day of, and the day after the March. MarchforLife.org has an updated listing on their website.
The Archdiocese of Washington is once again hosting a Youth Rally and Mass for Life the morning of the March at the Verizon Center and the DC Armory. Tickets for the Youth Rally had to be requested last Fall through the OECFL and we are unable to accommodate further requests at this late date. Parishes and schools that had requested tickets should make sure to submit the required paperwork by the January 12 deadline so that we can send their tickets out in a timely manner.
At this point the OECFL is aware of busses leaving from two areas of our diocese: Albany (also picking up at Catskill) and Stamford (in Delaware County).
The Albany busses will be leaving from Christ the King Church in Westmere the evening of Wednesday, January 21 (around 10:30pm). The cost is $55 per person. Reserve your seat by calling Barbara at 518-456-3998. One bus is already full and they’re now working on a second one. The Albany bus will be stopping to pick up in the Catskill area as well.
The Stamford bus will be leaving at 12 noon on Wednesday, January 21. Participants will be spending the night at a K of C hall outside DC. The bus should return to Stamford around midnight. The cost is $70 per person. The first Stamford bus is almost full – there is a possibility of a second bus out of Oneonta if they can get another 30 people. Register by calling Cathie Weredyk at Sacred Heart Church, 607-652-7170.
USCCB’s 2014-15 Respect Life Program
The USCCB’s annual “Respect Life Program” begins on the first Sunday of October. It is highlighted in liturgies and marked by special events throughout the year. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities publishes a program packet each year to call attention to numerous human life issues. These materials are especially helpful for priests, parish groups and other organizations. While the physical packet of materials will be sent by Bishop Scharfenberger to each pastor/parish life director/Catholic school principal in the Albany Diocese shortly after they are received at the Pastoral Center, most of these materials are now available on the USCCB’s website.
Our theme this year is, “Each of us is a masterpiece of God’s creation,” which was developed based off of a quote from Pope Francis’ Day for Life greeting: “Even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor are masterpieces of God's creation, made in his own image, destined to live forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect.”
This year’s articles include adoption, miscarriage, post-abortion healing within marriage, poverty and abortion, advanced medical directives, and the increased commodification of children.
The popular liturgy guide will again contain materials for the 9 Days for Life initiative, along with other prayer/liturgical resources. However, this year, the liturgy guide will not be printed, but the resources will be available to download from the conference’s website. Many of the other materials will also be available in both Spanish and English online.
View (and download) this year’s Program Resources or access the resources from the past three years.
General Meeting of Parish/School Pro Life Committees, Teams, etc.
As a follow up to our October, 2014 Parish/School Respect Life Liaisons meeting, the OECFL will be organizing a meeting open to all persons interested in getting involved in pro life activities in their local parish or school in April. While specific details as to date, time and location are still being worked out, we encourage interested people to study and reflect upon Pope St. John Paul II’s Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae (“The Gospel of Life”) and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Pastoral Plan for Pro Life Activities.
Holy Hours for Life
Broadalbin – Every Tuesday evening from 7-8pm at the Blessed Sacrament Chapel in St. Joseph’s Rectory.
Rotterdam – Every Third Tuesday from 7-8pm at St. Gabriel’s Church, 3040 Hamburg Street.
Rachel’s Vineyard Retreats are offered throughout the United States and internationally. They have been a source of reconciliation and healing for thousands of women and men who have suffered from the pain of an abortion. Information about local retreats sponsored by Rachel’s Vineyard of Albany.
None at this time.
Respect Life Resources – Monthly General Intercessions & Bulletin Quotes (distributed via the diocese’s monthly emailing to parishes and available to parish staffs from the diocesan intranet)
Pastors, parish administrators, parish life directors, deacons and parish pro-life/respect life committee chairs can request to be added to the OECFL’s Respect Life email list to receive updates and resources electronically by contacting Stephen Mawn at 518-453-6630