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How To Start A Respect Life Committee In Your Parish or Church

  

Primary Goals of the Parish Pro-Life Committee | Some Ideas to get you started

Actually, it's easier than you think!

Step 1 Read the "PASTORAL PLAN FOR PRO-LIFE ACTIVITIES OF THE BISHOPS OF THE UNITED STATES PASTORAL PLAN FOR PRO-LIFE ACTIVITIES OF THE BISHOPS OF THE UNITED STATES".

Step 2 It is imperative that you have the support of your Pastor.  Let him know that your committee will handle the details always with his consent.

Step 3 Clear a date on the parish calendar...pick a night when both the school and parish calendars are clear so that nothing interferes with your PARISH/CHURCH INFORMATION NIGHT.

Step 4  Set the date, publish three weeks in advance in your parish bulletin, and through the school notes sent home with the children, that there will be a speaker and film presentation on the pro-life issue.

Step 5  Hold the meeting; have a sign-in sheet with name, address, phone number and area of interest.

Step 6  Invite the following to be representatives on your committee:  PTA President or (Spiritual Director of PTA), K of C Representative, Parish Council Representative, Liturgy Committee Rep., Rosary Guild, Altar Society.

Step 7  Meet as a parish committee as necessary - often this will only be as often as an event needs to be publicized.  Your committee should meet at least quarterly so that your long and short range goals are being accomplished.

Primary Goals of the Parish Pro-Life Committee

To Become Informed on the life issues (abortion, infanticide and euthanasia) by reviewing certain basic educational materials:

  • "The Challenge to Be Pro-Life"

  • "When You Were Formed in Secret"

  • "Abortion:  The Silent Holocaust" by John Powell

To Keep Informed on the current status of the life issues by subscribing to key pro-life publications, namely National Right to Life News, Respect Life Report and Religious Outreach Newsletter published by National Right to Life.

To Inform Others within the parish community, with the assistance of the pastor and parish priest(s) of the sanctity of human life, of the radical nature of the Supreme Court abortion decisions and of the consequent need to restore legal protection for all human life through protective legislation both at the state and national level.

To Recruit Volunteers through the use of Volunteer Interest Surveys, personal contact and other means, those members of the parish who are interested in becoming involved in efforts to restore respect for human life and secure legal protection for the unborn.

To Organize those who have been informed and recruited into various projects designed to:

  1. Pray individually and with others for the restoration of respect for all human life.

  2. Educate within the parish on the life issues.

  3. Respond to action alerts distributed by the LA. Pro-Life Council regarding state and national legislation.

  4. Express support for pro-life legislation to legislators at the local, state and national level.

  5. Raise funds for local and state pro-life activities.

  6. Stimulate support for membership in local and state pro-life organizations.

  7. Focus attention on the life issues at key times during the year, namely on January 22nd (anniversary of teh infamous Supreme Court abortion decisions and on Respect Life Sunday.)

  8. Support Service Projects to aid the elderly, the handicapped, the poor, distressed pregnant women, women and men suffering the aftereffects of abortion, etc.

Some ideas to get you started:

  • Make a banner for your Respect Life Committee

  • Ask your pastor to use the Prayers of the Faithful and Bulletin Inserts sent to you each month

  • Actively promote the January 22nd Commemoration (sponsored by New Orleans Right to Life and held the Saturday on or before Jan. 22nd. - Mass and rally with prayer for unborn, women, and clinic personnel (mass at St. Angelic, march to Causeway Medical Clinic).

  • Spiritual Adoption - a parish-wide activity (see prayer in manual) IDEA:  I like to plant a barren tree branch with several small limbs (use terra cotta planter filled with Quick-crete) - and bring this barren tree to life with the names of those who are praying for a special unborn child whom they have named - use some symbol to hang on the tree where the name of the spiritually adopted baby can be written, along with the name of the person praying and when they began their commitment - End the 9-month long prayer activity with a baby shower to benefit ACCESS CRISIS PREGNANCY CENTER (a program of Catholic Charities).

  • Blessing of Mothers on Mother's Day AND Blessing of Fathers on Father's Day

  • Celebrate Life! - an end of school liturgy

  • Sponsor a literature rack in the back of Church (materials available from the Pro-Life Council Office)

  • First Friday Holy Hour for the Unborn and their Mothers

  • Encourage others to become volunteer counselors at ACCESS Crisis Pregnancy Center (training available for day and night call counselors).

  • Always encourage your pastor to involve the church in legislative activity (phone trees, writing letters to elected officials, etc.  Use the parish bulletin (time permitting).  Alerts come out of my office approximately six (6) times a year either by e-mail, telephone call, fax or letter, and deal with pro-life issues at the state and national levels.

  • Work through the school and other church organizations to promote Respect Life Education (K-8).

  • Publicize the Rosary Novena for Life and Sidewalk Counseling & Picketing (a legal activity sponsored by the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of New Orleans).

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.  There are three activities that must be equally promoted:  Spiritual, educational, and legislative activity.

The Louisiana Pro-Life Council functions as the Respect Life Office of the Archdiocese of New Orleans and also works with any pro-life Christian church.

 
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