The U.S. Bishops' 2001 Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities calls upon the Church - its people, services, and institutions - to pursue the cause of human life & dignity in four major areas. The Diocese of Raleigh recommends that parishes try to be involved in each of these four areas of the Pastoral Plan:
- 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 to and serve all human life.
- 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.
- Public Policy efforts directed to restoring legal protection to the lives of unborn children, those suffering from injustices due to societal systems, those living in poverty, and those vulnerable to pressures to end their lives by assisted suicide, and to providing morally acceptable alternatives to abortion and assisted suicide.
- Prayer and Worship directed to participation in the sacramental life of the Church and in programs of communal and individual prayer, to pray for the culture of life.
Varied Respect Life Groups may focus their energy on one particular aspect of life; however, all do so in the context of the Church's mission to uphold the dignity of life at all stages of life. The USCCB has a different theme for each year. Visit their website for this year’s theme and resources, including a series of pamphlets on current issues. http://www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/respect-life-program/.
Diocese of Raleigh Activities and Resources
Diocesan Pro-life Masses are celebrated each January throughout the Diocese in prayer and thanksgiving for the beauty and goodness of God's wondrous gift of life. Contact your local parish for information on these special Masses.
Washington March for Life is promoted and advertised each January. The next March will be on January 19, 2018.
Fetal Development of Abigail (PDF) - a series of bulletin messages describing the fetal development of “Abigail” in the womb beginning on March 25 (Feast of the Annunciation) until December 25.
Word of Life
The Word of Life Series by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops offers prayer intentions, bulletin quotes, and occasional homily notes for liturgical use. You can sign up to receive them in your inbox each month or access them by visiting: http://www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/word-of-life/index.cfm.
Blessing of the Child in the Womb Ceremony
Our office encourages Respect Life Leaders to organize the Blessing of the Child in the Womb ceremony in their parishes. This initiative, recently released from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, is meant to encourage parish prayers for the precious gift of the child in the womb and to foster respect for human life within society.