WASHINGTON (August 25, 1999) -- Respect Life program materials for the 1999-2000 observance are now available from the Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB). Respect Life Sunday, which begins the year-long effort, is October 3.
Begun in 1972, the Respect Life program strives to bring Church teaching on the value and dignity of human life to the attention of the Catholic community and the wider public.
The program combines prayer, pastoral services, advocacy and education. It is observed in virtually all of the 193 Catholic dioceses in the United States.
The aftermath of abortion, with special emphasis on compassion and reconciliation, is the principal focus of articles in this year's Respect Life kit. Writers include Sister Paula Vandegaer, Executive Director of International Life Services, whose article is called "After the Abortion"; Cardinal Francis George, OMI, Archbishop of Chicago, who writes on "Entering the Millennium as a People of Life"; M. Cathleen Kaveny, associate professor of law at Notre Dame Law School, on "Dying Well, Assisted Suicide and the Law"; Stan Weed, Ph.D., co-founder of the Institute for Research and Evaluation, who writes on "The Current National Picture on Teen Pregnancy"; Sister Mary Rose McGeady, President of Covenant House, "The Tragedy of Street Kids"; and Rev. J. Augustine DiNoia, OP, Executive Director of the NCCB Secretariat for Doctrine and Pastoral Practices, "A Tale of Three Encyclicals."
A flier, clip art, a liturgy guide, full-color posters, and every article in the packet are available in English and Spanish. Program models and resources for implementing the program in schools and communities are also included in the packet.
The liturgy guide, accomplished with the assistance of Father James Moroney, Executive Director of the NCCB Secretariat for the Liturgy, includes a new "Blessing of a Monument to the Unborn" (written by Father Moroney), as well as Carla Riga's "A Journey to Calvary: The Way of the Cross for the Terminally Ill."
For the first time, resource materials have been developed specifically to assist priests in counseling persons troubled by an experience with abortion. The materials include a resource manual which contains, among other things, suggestions for ministering in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and in the context of counseling; practical suggestions for making the parish "a center of hope and healing"; information on abortion and canon law; and resource recommendations. There is also an audiotape for priests which covers much of the material in the manual.
For more information, or to order materials, contact the Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities at 202-541-3070. The website address is www.nccbuscc.org/prolife.