Ordinary time resumes today, yet it feels anything but ordinary. Our daily routines, disrupted by Covid-19, haven't been restored. Even as we work to save lives and we pray for a cure or a vaccine, murders, abortions, and atrocities against human dignity continue. Outcries against injustice have sparked further violence. Many people have told me, "I'm just ready for things to get back to normal."
In a recent letter to the priests of Rome, however, Pope Francis cautions us against simply waiting for everything to "return to normal." He reminds us that "the Resurrection is the announcement that things can change" and he reminds us that “hope also depends on us and requires that we help each other to keep it alive and active; that contagious hope that is cultivated and strengthened in the encounter with others and that, as a gift and a task, is given to us to construct the new ‘normality’ that we so desire.”
As we work towards this new normal, I thought it might be helpful to share some ideas for easing back into, maintaining, or even beginning parish pro-life ministry. In this newsletter you will find new ideas, new ways to implement things, and some reminders for "tried and true" opportunities to involve your parish in the pro-life work, mission, and ministry of the Church.
More information about these ideas is found below. I hope you do find this newsletter helpful. I am available by email email@example.com or cell phone 479-206-3199 if you need more information, have any questions, or if I can help in any way.
May God bless you and your ministry. Stay safe and be well.
Sincerely in Christ,
Respect Life Director
Diocese of Little Rock
Racism is a Pro-Life Issue excerpt from the Statement of U.S. Bishop Chairmen in Wake of Death of George Floyd and National Protests Read the full statement.
Racism is not a thing of the past or simply a throwaway political issue to be bandied about when convenient. It is a real and present danger that must be met head on. As members of the Church, we must stand for the more difficult right and just actions instead of the easy wrongs of indifference. We cannot turn a blind eye to these atrocities and yet still try to profess to respect every human life. We serve a God of love, mercy, and justice.
PRAYER FOR PEACE IN OUR COMMUNITIES
Let us pray . . . O Lord our God, in your mercy and kindness, no thought of ours is left unnoticed,
no desire or concern ignored.
You have proven that blessings abound when we fall on our knees in prayer, and so we turn to you in our hour of need.
Surrounded by violence and cries for justice,
we hear your voice telling us what is required . . . “Only to do justice and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God” (Mi 6:8).
Fill us with your mercy so that we, in turn,
may be merciful to others. Strip away pride, suspicion, and racism so that we may seek peace and justice in our communities. Strengthen our hearts so that they beat
only to the rhythm of your holy will.
Flood our path with your light
as we walk humbly toward a future filled with encounter and unity. Be with us, O Lord, in our efforts,
for only by the prompting of your grace can we progress toward virtue. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Our faith calls us to respect and protect every human life—from its very beginning to its very end, and at every moment in between. Protecting human life also requires us to protect the dignity of each person, regardless of race, physical condition, age or stage of life. Tragically, people often are not treated with the respect that their human dignity requires.
Racism and attacks on human life are two forms of this evil, and they often manifest together. Racially motivated assault is one clear example. Other examples include abortion and assisted suicide; although they strike at human life regardless of race, racial minorities are at even greater risk of being abandoned to these acts of violence. Abortion facilities are typically located in neighborhoods with large racial minority populations. These populations already face disproportionate challenges accessing quality medical care throughout life, and they are at higher risk than others at the end of life of experiencing pressure to take lethal drugs where assisted suicide is legalized.
May Jesus Christ, who conquered sin and death, help us build a culture of life where everyone is cherished. Responding to the Sin of Racism(2017) USCCB, Washington, D.C.
Pregnant and parenting moms in need are in our parishes and our neighborhoods. As Pope Francis reminds us, our parishes need to be “islands of mercy in the midst of a sea of indifference.” Everyone in the parish community should know where to refer a pregnant woman in need.Is your parish participating in the Walking With Moms in Need initiative?
It's time to complete the parish inventory and you can help! Click "Complete the Parish Inventory" in the box above for all the information you need to get started or to help. Your parish should identify local resources for pregnancy assistance such as pregnancy help centers, maternity homes, social service agencies, hospitals and especially Catholic programs and resources. And then, begin thinking about how effectively those resources are communicated to moms in need and to others within your parish.
The Respect Life Office is committed to helping parishes to participate in Walking with Moms in Need. Please call 501-664-0340 ext. 326 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or need help.
God loves each human life from the instant of his or her conception and entrusts this gift to the protection of a mother and father. Abortion ends the life of a child and offends God. It also deeply wounds the women and men involved.
Learn more about how abortion impacts women, men, and marriages by watching the pro-life theatrical play, Viable. "Viable is the triumphant story of a mother heavy-laden with shame, sorrow, and self-condemnation for 30 years because of her choice… until she experiences the healing, renewing, and restorative love of Jesus Christ in a most unexpected and unusual way." Viable is available for streaming on demand for $19.95 from Watch Salem Media. Your purchase will benefit Arkansas Right to Life.
Recently in the news....
On Sunday, May 24 a baby boy was placed in the Safe Haven Baby Box located at Benton Fire Station No. 3. Within minutes, this precious child was safely recovered by the firemen on duty. In Arkansas, the Safe Haven Law allows a mother to surrender her infant 30 days or younger at an emergency room, to a law enforcement agency, or to a fire department. The purpose of the Safe Haven Baby Box is to save the lives of babies who might otherwise be abandoned in unsafe place.
Funds for this Baby Box were raised by the Knights of Columbus. The Knights have also raised funds for a Safe Haven Baby Box to be installed in Jonesboro. If you would like to get involved in fundraising efforts, make a donation, or receive more information please contact Dale Flamand.
Pray, reflect, and act to uphold Religious Freedom. For text and action alerts, text "FREEDOM" to 84576. Watch this video to learn more.
Please, Continue to take Covid Precautions
As we go back to Mass and get out of our homes more, please take care of yourselves. Please continue to do what is necessary to minimize the spread of this coronavirus. This includes frequent hand washing, wearing face coverings, and maintaining a physical distance. These precautions are sometimes ignored by healthly individuals who are not in much danger of experiencing life threatening complications if they do contract Covid-19. However, these precautions are a life issue for the elderly and others in high risk groups. As Bishop Taylor said in his homily on May 22, "...make these sacrifices out of love, out of concern for the most vulnerable among us. We personally might not be in a high-risk group, but obeying Jesus means that we don’t think only of ourselves. We wear that mask out of love because we don’t want to be a vector of infection for others who are at great risk."