"Moved by Mercy" has been a consistent theme of Pope Francis
and one that has particular urgency today. This year's theme for the United
States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Respect Life Program fills us with
encouragement and hope and calls us to love, defend and celebrate all human
life. It calls us to joyfully follow the example of Christ, to love without
limits, and further, to act on that sense of true Christian charity.
We know that we live in a world full of threats to the
sanctity and dignity of human life. However we also know that through prayer,
education, responsible citizenship and pastoral care of all human life,
especially the most vulnerable and in need of our love, we transform our
society into a culture of life; we know that all things are possible in Christ.
We can protect the unborn, serve those faced with disabilities, care for the
sick and dying, and stand against violence, and we can do so with compassion,
charity and justice.
We celebrate October as Respect Life Month, but we are reminded
all year round of the sacredness of life and the joy of love. Our Office of
Pro-Life Activities, the St. Gianna Pregnancy Outreach Center, and the Mother
Teresa Home along with our pastors, parish Respect Life coordinators, and
members of our "Vine and Branches" committee stand ready to implement this
program and partner with each of you in defending and celebrating human life.
Together we commit ourselves to the sanctity and dignity of all human life.
Through prayer and through the celebration of Mass and the
Sacraments, we can know and love God better and open our hearts to all human
life. In Pope Francis' Day for Life Greeting, he reminds us, "Even the weakest
and most vulnerable, the sick and 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."
I invite and encourage each of you to join me on Respect
Life Sunday, Oct. 2, at St. Joseph's Cathedral as we celebrate the Eucharist at
10:30 a.m. I Look forward to the opportunity to bless babies, expectant mothers
and families immediately after Mass. This will be followed by a small social
with light refreshments.
Be assured of my prayerful and grateful best wishes as
together we work to promote all life and to "live the truth in life."
-Bishop Richard J. Malone