Human Life / Respect Life
“The Church ...is called to proclaim the gift of life, to serve life, and to promote a culture of life... The proclamation of life, life in abundance, must be the heart of the new evangelization. For true life – our salvation – can only be found in the reconciliation, freedom and love which are God’s gracious gift.” - Pope Benedict XVI, Homily at Votive Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, April 19, 2008
“Even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, 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.”
~ Pope Francis – Day for Life Greeting
Our Respect Life year begins in October with the theme: Each of us is a Masterpiece of God’s Creation. This theme gives us the opportunity to stop and think of the beautiful works of art we have seen – paintings, sculptures, buildings, or other designs. We marvel at how such works were created and how they can stir us to an emotional response.
If art, created by man, can evoke such a response within us, how much more is the same wonder, reverence, and respect due to each person we encounter when that individual was handcrafted by God?
Just as an artist steps back from a great work of art and admires it, so God looks on each of us with love that cannot be outdone in intensity or tenderness. And if we stop to remember this, we are invited to behold ourselves and each other with this same wonder and awe.
May the beginning of this new Respect Life year challenge us to remember that no matter how the world may view us or others, let us treat each person as the masterpiece he or she is.
Respect Life materials for 2014-2015 will be sent to each parish in the Diocese. The materials include a Liturgy Guide with homily notes and prayer resources to mark Respect Life Sunday as well as other days throughout the year. The packet sent to each parish includes pamphlets on a number of life issues including advance medical directives, adoption, healing within marriage from an abortion, poverty and abortion, and solace and strength in the sorrow of miscarriage. Additional Respect Life ideas include:
Human life is a precious gift from God the Creator. God creates the human person in his image and likeness, and because of this human life has a dignity with an inestimable value. We are all called to be good stewards of God’s gift and have the responsibility of respecting human life and its inviolability from conception to natural death.
The mission of the Respect Life Office is to assist the bishop, clergy, religious, and the laity of the Diocese of Manchester in the great effort of deepening respect for the life of every human being and building a culture of life. The work of the Respect Life Office is guided by the four major areas of the Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB): Public Information and Education, Pastoral Care, Public Policy, and Prayer and Worship.
For more information, please contact:
Diocese of Manchester
The Catholic Church in New Hampshire
153 Ash Street, Box 310
Manchester, NH 03105-0310
Fax: (603) 669-0377
© Diocese of Manchester