WASHINGTON (August 22, 1997) -- Materials for the 1997-98 Respect Life program are now available from the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. Respect Life Sunday, which begins the year-long effort, falls on October 5 this year.
The Catholic Bishops of the United States began the Respect Life program in 1972. Its purpose is to bring Church teaching on the value and dignity of human life to the attention of the Catholic community and the wider public.
The Respect Life program strives to combine prayer, pastoral services, advocacy and education. Virtually all Catholic dioceses in the United States are involved in the program.
Writers represented in the 1997-1998 Respect Life kit include Dr. E. Joanne Angelo, a psychiatrist with more than a decade's experience counseling women who have had abortions. In the context of Pope John Paul's compassionate words to such women in the encyclical Evangelium Vitae, Dr. Angelo profiles the journey from pre-abortion to post-healing, from despair to peace and hope, that is the common experience of those who come to Project Rachel. Her article is entitled "A Special Word to Women Who Have Had an Abortion."
Other authors include Dr. John T. Bruchalski, who practices obstetrics/gynecology at the Tepeyac Family Center, and whose article "The Contraceptive Revolution and Its Fruits" discusses the unintended consequences of contraceptives, sexually-transmitted diseases, side- effects, and what he terms "STDs of the soul." Lisa K. Gigliotti, Esq. ("Hear My Voice: A Cry for a Truly Compassionate Society") writes as a long-time disability-rights advocate, an advisor to the Michigan state senate on issues of assisted suicide, and as a young woman who copes with rheumatoid arthrities and a neuromuscular disease. Father James J. Ronan, executive director of the NCCB Secretariat for Latin America and missionary in Ecuador from 1988-94, describes the daily life of the poorest of God's children in Guayaquil and the heroic work of American missionaries ("The Hill of the Goats: Solidarity with the Poor in Latin America"). Brenda Destro of the Catholic University and the John Paul II Institute, proposes a "new" and sounder model of adoption rooted in biblical and Christian concepts ("Celebrating the Good Message of Adoption"). Susan E. Wills, assistant director for program development in the NCCB Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, explores in "Partial-Birth Abortion: The Writing on the Wall" the symbiotic relationship between abortion and falsehood: as the fundamental lies central to the public's uneasy truce with abortion are being exposed, more Americans are becoming pro-life.
A flier, clip art, a liturgy guide, and full-color posters and fliers in English and Spanish are also available. In addition, program models and resources with ideas and fliers for implementing the program in schools and other communities are also included in the packet.
For more information or to order materials, contact the Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities at 202-541-3070.