Published September 29, 2011
The Archdiocese of Atlanta will be joining with Catholics across the country in the 40th annual observance of October as Respect Life Month.
Begun in 1972, the Respect Life program combines all four aspects of the U.S. bishops’ “Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities”—education, prayer, service and advocacy. It kicks off each year on Respect Life Sunday, the first Sunday in October, which is observed in nearly all of the 195 Catholic dioceses in the United States.
A new eight-part “Life Matters” series from the U.S. bishops, covering life issues from conception to death, is the centerpiece of the 2011-12 Respect Life program that begins with Respect Life Sunday.
The theme of the yearlong observance is “I came so that all might have life and have it to the full,” from the tenth chapter of John.
The church’s “Life Matters” series, available in English and Spanish, is “designed to offer a clear and compelling defense of church teaching from primarily secular sources,” according to a news release from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Covered topics include abortion, contraception, the death penalty, persons with disabilities, embryo research, end-of-life issues, reproductive technologies, and love and marriage.
According to Mary Boyert, director of the archdiocesan Respect Life program, pro-life groups around the archdiocese have been planning specific activities in their parishes and schools, many of them based upon the four major areas of the Respect Life program: prayer and worship, public education and awareness, public policy and pastoral outreach.
October 2 is Life Chain Sunday, which features a prayerful public witness of individuals who stand for life, praying for the nation and for an end to abortion.
At least 56 Life Chains in various locations will be held around the state of Georgia, with 45 of them within the Archdiocese of Atlanta. For a complete list of locations, go to www.lifechain.net and click on Georgia.
Beginning on Sept. 28 and going through Nov. 6, 40 Days for Life will be held in several locations in the archdiocese. It’s a community-based campaign that draws attention to abortion through the use of a three-point program: prayer and fasting, constant vigil, and community outreach. For more information about the campaign, go to www.40daysforlife.com, go to Locations, and go to Georgia. Locations include Atlanta, Lawrenceville, Marietta and Toccoa.