When October arrives, so does Respect Life month. It’s a time dedicated to pro-life activities that inspire “common efforts to bring about a world in which every life is cherished,” according to Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, of Kansas City, Kansas and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Pro-Life Activities.
Here in the Diocese of Raleigh, Bishop Luis Rafael Zarama spoke during his homily on Respect Life Sunday of the beauty of the Eucharist and how the celebration of this mystery helps us celebrate the gift of our own lives.
In Shallotte, Knights of Columbus Council 9039 from Saint Brendan the Navigator Parish are leading a Novena/Rosary for Life which began Oct. 4. The following day, parishioners held a one-hour silent vigil for life on the parish grounds during the novena hour. As parishioners stood facing N.C. Highway 17 with posters featuring an array of Bible verses and psalms, inside Saint Brendan’s Church fellow parishioners were praying the novena and rosary.
Following each weekend Mass this month, the Knights are staffing a table to encourage parishioners to support pro-life programs. One of the efforts they are featuring is Project Rachel, a post-abortion healing ministry that has been supported in the Diocese of Raleigh for more than 20 years. In addition to raising funds to support this and other pro-life efforts, information was available about an upcoming Project Rachel retreat in November.
The novena-rosary at St. Brendan Church will conclude with the council hosting a movie night featuring UNPLANNED, the true story of Abby Johnson who went from being one of the youngest Planned Parenthood clinic directors in the U.S. to one of the nation’s most ardent pro-life supporters.
Among other Respect Life activities this month, Bishop Zarama will be the guest of honor at the Benefit for Life Gala. The keynote speaker at the Gala will be Daniel Ritchie. Born without arms, and being told through much of his life that he was “a hopeless mistake,” Ritchie heard God’s message that he was actually, “fearfully and wonderfully made” and has since shared his inspirational, life-giving story.
The theme of this year’s Respect Life month is, “Christ Our Hope: In Every Season of Life.”
While featured by the USCCB during the month of October, the Respect Life program is a year-round, nationwide effort to help Catholics understand, value and become engaged with building a culture that cherishes every human life.