This guide is intended to provide ideas and suggestions for parish respect life activities. It provides multiple suggestions so that you can cater ideas to the needs and interests of your parish.
Sample Respect Life Group Planning Calendar (from St. Charles Borromeo)
When possible, action items are listed from simplest to most involved in each category. Consider starting small and challenging yourself and your parish over time.
Please note, any activity should be cleared with your pastor first.
Select one of the following for suggested parish activities:
You, the Parish Respect Life Coordinators, are essential in building a culture of life!
Parish Respect Life Coordinators and their Committees provide resources to their parish on life issues, actively evangelize their fellow parishioners on the life issues, and support their pastor and priests in making pro-life prayer and activity visible and viable at the parish level.
In consultation with the pastor, the Parish Respect Life Coordinator organizes and implements the efforts of the Bishops’ Pastoral Plan for Pro Life Activities through four areas: prayer and worship, education, pastoral care, and public policy.
Actively promoting a renewed respect for human life is the responsibility of every Catholic. The parish pro-life committee assists in a special way by helping to make the parish a center of life, a place where parishioners understand the issues and the importance of meeting the needs of those who are most vulnerable—especially mothers and their unborn children, and those who are seriously ill or dying and their families. It may be a distinct committee, or it might be a subcommittee of another parish organization. Whatever its structure, its membership should include representatives of both adult and youth parish groups, members of organizations that represent persons with disabilities, persons of minority cultures, and those responsible for education and pastoral care.
The chairperson of the parish committee is appointed by the pastor, and it is important that the two be able to work well together. The chair recruits volunteers to help meet the needs the committee serves. Parish committees should be mindful of the need for renewal from time to time in regard to membership, talents, and interests.
The parish committee relies on the diocesan pro-life director for information and guidance. The committee should play a vital role in parish life and enjoy the strong support of priests and other key personnel. The committee should also dovetail its efforts from time to time with other programs of the parish. For example, in many parts of the country, parishes conduct programs where parishioners study and discuss the teachings of the faith. Members of the pro-life committee should take part in such programs and invite other program leaders to take part in pro-life initiatives.
The objectives of the parish pro-life committee are to:
Remember, each parish/church is unique in its make-up. You will know after reviewing the list of things you can do what will most activate your parish.
How to Organize a Parish Pro-life Committee
Top Ten Ways to Build your Parish Respect Life Committee