January -  Pro-Life Ministry in 2021

2021 didn't begin peacefully for me. Just before midnight on New Year's Eve, my phone rang unexpectedly. On this cold, rainy night a young woman's shaking voice told me that earlier in the evening she had revealed to her family that she was pregnant- and they insisted that she have an abortion. When she refused, they had forced her out of the house.

This young mother had tried to get help for herself. After all, she wasn't entirely alone. Her one-year old daughter was in the car with her. She had called friends. She had searched for open shelters. But now, as others merrily counted down the final minutes of 2020, she was desperate.

"Let's get you somewhere safe for tonight," I said, and booked her a hotel room online.

On New Year's Day she began trying to find a new a home for her baby, her daughter, and herself. She told me that she felt absolutely overwhelmed, and she said she understood why her family thought abortion was the only solution for her "problem".

I've spent the past week walking with this mom in need as she has tried to figure out what to do. Accompanying her has given new resolve to my commitment to pro-life ministry. If we truly want to fight against abortion we must work harder to change the systems and circumstances that hold people down in poverty and desperation.

If we say we are willing to help a mom choose life, what are we actually willing to do?

Yes, there are some resources available. And many pro-life ministries out there are doing great and generous things. But accessing these resources while working from 8am to 4pm Monday through Friday (plus taking a child to and from daycare before and after work!) isn't easy.

Choosing life- how hard could it be? Harder than many of us actually know. Harder than many of us understand.

2021 didn't begin peacefully for me. It didn't begin with peace and hope for this young family in Arkansas. And it hasn't been a peaceful start for our nation. But we have the opportunity to be peacemakers. We have the opportunity to bring hope, resolve conflict, and drive out desperation. We can live the Gospel of Life and fill our world with the love of Jesus Christ.
It's a New Year! What will you do in pro-life ministry in 2021?

Sincerely in Christ,
Catherine Phillips
Respect Life Office

9 Days for Life is a novena for the protection of human life. Each day’s intention is accompanied by a short reflection and suggested actions to help build a culture of life. Sign up to receive notifications. Download the novena, printables, graphics, and suggested activities - available in English & in Spanish - from the 9 Days for Life website. Each graphic below is linked to the daily prayer.
Join Catholics across the country in praying for the protection of human life throughout 9 Days for Life through livestreamed prayer events.

Please join Bishop Taylor for the annual diocesan
Sunday January 17, 2021 at 12:05 p.m.
at the Cathedral of St. Andrew in Little Rock

The Mass will be Livestreamed on DOLR's YouTube Channel

For more information, please contact the Respect Life Office 501-664-0340 ext. 326
Download and print flyer

January 22 - Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of the Unborn

The over 56 million abortions since the 1973 decisions of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton reflect with heartbreaking magnitude what Pope Francis means by a “throwaway culture.” However, we have great trust in God’s providence. We are reminded time and again in Scripture to seek the Lord’s help, and as people of faith, we believe that our prayers are heard.

January 22 is designated as a particular day of prayer and penance, called the “Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children”. In all the Dioceses of the United States of America, January 22 is observed as a particular day of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life and of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion.

As individuals, we are called to observe this day through the penitential practices of prayer, fasting and/or giving alms. Another way to take part is through participating in special events to observe the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

2021 National Prayer Vigil for Life

January 28 - January 29

The 2021 National Prayer Vigil for Life will take place virtually via livestream on the Basilica website and via broadcast on EWTN.

Thursday, January 28, 2021, 7pm – 10pm

7:00 p.m.                     National Rosary for Life

7:30 p.m.                     Opening Mass

Celebrant & Homilist: Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas – Chairman, USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities

9:00 p.m.                   Holy Hour for Life

Throughout the night, holy hours led by bishops from various dioceses around the country will be broadcast on the USCCB’s website.

Friday, January 29, 2021, 7am – 8am

7:00 a.m.                    Closing Mass

Celebrant & Homilist: Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore – Chairman-Elect, USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities

On Saturday January 30, 2021 the Cardinal O'Connor Conference on Life, the largest collegiate pro-life conference in the nation, will take place virtually via Zoom from 9am - 3pm. The theme of this year’s conference is “Global Pro-Life Approaches in the 21st Century.” The event will feature a distinguished panel of pro-life advocates who will examine how to build a technologically innovative pro-life movement in our nation and around the world, as well as a virtual Holy Hour, and a Mass for Life. The unusual circumstances of 2020-21 offer a rare opportunity to attend this conference: free admission! Register now on the conference Eventbrite page.

This online gathering will include a keynote addresses from Aimee Murphy, Executive Director and founder of Rehumanize International, a non-partisan, secular organization dedicated to bringing an end to aggressive violence against human beings and Gianna Jessen, a well-known anti-abortion activist who was born during a failed saline abortion attempt. There will also be a distinguished panel discussing the consistent life ethic and its role in the 21st century. It will feature notable advocates such as:

  • Reggie Littlejohn, founder and president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers
  • Valerie Huber, M.Ed., Special Representative for Global Women’s Health
  • Dr. Alveda King, niece of Rev. Dr Martin Luther King and Executive Director of Priests for Life’s outreach branch Civil Rights for the Unborn
  • Sr. Dede Byrne, Little Workers of the Sacred Heart.

The panel will be moderated by Catherine Hadro, Host and Managing Editor of EWTN Pro-Life Weekly


The National Youth Rally and Mass for Life are traditionally held in Washington, D.C. in conjunction with the annual National March for Life.

This year, the Youth Rally and Mass for Life will be held virtually on January 29, 2021, livestreaming on multiple platforms, including Facebook Live and YoutTube, beginning at 7:30 AM. Mass will begin at 9:00 AM, and will transition into live coverage of the March for Life on EWTN.

Join us in prayer that we as a nation may stop wandering in the wilderness of the culture of death and enter into “life in abundance” (John 10:10) through our faith in Jesus Christ and our proclamation of the Gospel of Life.

Follow on social media #iStand4Life

Physician Assisted Suicide - The Real Effects
(Note - An indication of why we need to speak out against Assisted Suicide: This video has been flagged by YouTube as containing content "offensive to some audiences.")
Preserving the Sanctity of Life at the End of Life
February 6, 2021
FREE Virtual Conference
Advance registration required  ( - Link will be active soon!)
presented by Arkansas Right to Life, Family Council,
and the Respect Life Office of the Diocese of Little Rock

Euthanasia - Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
Assisted Suicide - Dr. William Toffler Co-Founder Holy Family Catholic Clinic, National Director Physicians for Compassionate Care Education Foundation
End of Life Care - Dr. David Smith Palliative Care Director for Baptist Health
Christian Spirituality in the Dying Process - Fr. Jason Tyler Bioethicist for the Diocese of Little Rock 
The Sanctity, Tenacity and Resiliency of Human Life - Fr. Joseph Chan Chaplain for Mercy Health System

For more information please call the Respect Life Office 501-664-0340 ext 326 or Arkansas Right to Life 501-663-4237

The federal government resumed the practice of capital punishment after a 17-year hiatus in July 2020. Ten people have been executed since the restart.

The resumption of executions is notably out of step with the progress much of the United States has made toward abolishing capital punishment; ten states have abolished the death penalty since the federal government's last executions in 2003, and public support for the practice is at a historic low.

CMN urges Catholics and all people of goodwill to continue speaking out against the federal government's backslide into executions and condemn these unnecessary and avoidable attacks on human dignity. Learn how you can take action.

Bishop Anthony B. Taylor released the following statement Dec. 21 regarding COVID-19 vaccines. 

“As vaccinations against COVID-19 have begun in the United States, some parishioners have asked whether it is morally permissible to receive a vaccine since all of the vaccines currently in use were developed with some connection to a past abortion.

“I commend these concerned persons for their careful consideration of this matter, but I also wish to be very clear here: receiving the vaccine is morally permissible. In fact, to be vaccinated against COVID-19 now is morally praiseworthy inasmuch as it protects the health of the person being vaccinated and likely protects others as well.

“This matter has been addressed recently by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and by the Holy See. For further information, see those statements, which I fully support. In short, receiving one of the vaccines currently available is justified because (1) the connection to a past abortion is remote, (2) the need to protect others from COVID-19 is so great, and (3) there is currently no vaccine available which is completely free of these concerns.” 

Download & print this FACT SHEET: Answers to Key Ethical Questions About COVID-19 Vaccines

Fact Sheet in Spanish: Respuestas a las preguntas éticas clave sobre las vacunas contra el covid-19
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Respect Life Office · 2500 N. Tyler St. · Little Rock, AR 72207 · USA

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