Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


October is Respect Life Month

Published October 2, 2015

WASHINGTON—Respect Life Month, celebrated in the Catholic Church each year in October, is a “fitting time to reflect on the truth of who we are,” according to Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, OFM, of Boston, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities. This year’s theme is “Every Life is Worth Living.”

Brendan Dudley, the director of the archdiocesan Respect Life Ministry, said, “Respect Life Month is a fantastic opportunity to develop our care for every human life from conception to natural death. As we seek to uphold and defend the dignity of the person, the month of October provides us with a focused time of growth in prayer, education and service.”

In the Archdiocese of Atlanta, all are invited to participate in pro-life activities and events, including 40 Days for Life and Life Chain.

40 Days for Life, a focused campaign comprised of prayer, fasting and peaceful activism, kicked off in September and will be ongoing through Nov. 1. Locations include Atlanta, Forest Park, Marietta and Roswell. Information is available at the national website,

A midpoint rally for 40 Days for Life is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 18, from 2-3:30 p.m. at First Alliance Church, 2512 North Druid Hills Road, Atlanta. Lunch will be provided at 1 p.m.; an optional procession and prayer vigil will be held from 3:45-5 p.m. The speaker for the event is Elaine Riddick, executive director of the Rebecca Project for Justice.

On Sunday, Oct. 4, at various times, Life Chain observances are planned. A Life Chain is a one-hour peaceful, prayerful, silent witness for life. Held on the first Sunday in October each year, this day is designated as Respect Life Sunday by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. During a Life Chain people stand peacefully along a public thoroughfare and hold prepared signs that express support for human life. The Life Chain is a one-hour event, suitable for families, adults and children. Signs are provided by the organizing group and are consistent at every Life Chain. The event is also a time for participants to pray and witness to their belief in the sanctity of human life.

Usually about 50 Life Chains are held in Georgia. For the latest details about the Life Chains in Georgia, go to the website,

Dudley said, “Pope Francis’ beautiful witness and words during his recent visit to the United States challenge us to respect life by seeing the face of Christ in everyone, regardless of their individual circumstances. We can heed the message of Pope Francis by keeping in mind throughout October the truth that every life is worth living, which is the theme this year for the U.S. Bishops’ Respect Life Program.”

Deacon Richard Tolcher, coordinator of Prison and Jail Ministry for the Archdiocese of Atlanta, said that he also welcomed the pope’s comments against the death penalty to the U.S. Congress. Deacon Tolcher said, “The words from the pope were very encouraging. Basically all Catholics should be in agreement … all life has dignity.”

Cardinal O’Malley said, “Our worth is based not on our skills or levels of productivity. Rather, we discover our worth when we discover our true identity found in the unchangeable, permanent fact that we are created in God’s image and likeness and called to an eternal destiny with him.”

An end-of-life seminar will be held on Saturday, Oct. 17, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Holy Cross Church, 3773 Chamblee Tucker Road, Atlanta. The program will cover topics including the spirituality of dying, the role of hospice, and Catholic teaching on end-of-life issues. All are invited, but preregistration is necessary due to limited space. Register at

Speakers will include Father Neil Dhabliwala, Dr. Kathleen Raviele, attorneys Jeanne Smith and Bill Witcher, and Hugh Henderson, M.S., a hospice consultant and principal of the Henderson Advisory Group. There is no cost to attend. Contact Iris McCoy at or 404-660-6570 or Kay Warthman at 770-493-1345 for more information.