Respect Life Ministry

The sanctity of human life & dignity is at the foundation of Catholic social teaching.

The basic and unifying principle underlying this teaching is the innate dignity and worth of each human person, created in the image and likeness of God. In order to be fully human and to realize our potential as God’s creation, each of us has basic rights: to food, clothing, shelter, freedom of religion and conscience, democratic participation in the decisions that affect our lives, work at just wages, etc. But the right to life is the first and most fundamental right.

 

The U.S. Bishops’ 2001 Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities calls upon the Church — its people, services, and institutions — to pursue the cause of human life & dignity in four major areas.

  1. Education to deepen understanding of the sanctity of human life and the humanity of unborn children, the moral evil of intentionally killing innocent human beings – whether at the beginning of life or at its end – and the mission of the Church to witness to and serve all human life.
  2. Pastoral Care for women with problems related to pregnancy; for all who have been involved in abortion; for those who are disabled, sick, and dying, and their families and caregivers; for those who have lost loved ones to violent crime; and for those in prison sentenced to death.
  3. Public Policy efforts directed to restoring legal protection to the lives of unborn children and those vulnerable to pressures to end their lives by assisted suicide, and to providing morally acceptable alternatives to abortion and assisted suicide.
  4. Prayer and Worship directed to participation in the sacramental life of the Church and in programs of communal and individual prayer, that the culture of death that surrounds us today will be replaced by a culture of life and love.

If you would like more information or would like to volunteer in this ministry, please contact Craig Eller, at 757-484-8617, or by email at ellersix@cox.net.
For more information on Church teachings and web resources, please visit:

Pope John Paul II, The Gospel of Life, 1995.
http://www.usccb.org/prolife/tdocs/evangel/evangeli.shtml

U.S. Bishops, Pastoral Plan for Pro-life Activities: A Campaign in Support of Life, 2001.
http://www.usccb.org/prolife/pastoralplan.shtml

National Committee for a Human Life Amendment
http://nchla.org/

Project Rachel – Hope After Abortion
http://www.hopeafterabortion.com/

Euthanasia.com
http://www.euthanasia.com

Catholic Campaign to End the Use of the Death Penalty
http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/national/deathpenalty/

 

Cluster Parishes Respect Life Mission Statement

Respect Life is a cluster parishes ministry dedicated to advancing the culture of life in the Portsmouth, Chesapeake, and Suffolk area. The committee assists Cluster Parishes leadership in teaching respect for all human life from conception to natural death and in organizing for its protection, especially on behalf of those who are unborn, disabled, elderly, dying, or facing the death penalty.

This includes the following areas of responsibility: Education, promotion of pastoral care programs, especially for at risk mothers and babies. Public policy advocacy focused on issues involving the defense of human life at its beginning (abortion, embryonic stem cell research, cloning) and at its end (euthanasia, assisted suicide, including collaboration on opposition to human trafficking, unjust war and the death penalty).

The Holy Innocents ministry will pursue these goals through the following areas inspired by the USCCB pro-life vision statement:

  1. Education and Information on Life issues. Collaboration with other Catholic and Christian pro-life groups to further the culture of life.
  2. Pastoral care and support for pregnant women who are at risk through crisis pregnancy centers and organizations that provide direct support services. Also, collaborate and support organizations that further the other goals in support of life.
  3. Pursue public policy changes that will advance the culture of life through the elimination of abortion, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, human trafficking, unjust war and the death penalty. Encourage membership and action through organizations such The Virginia Catholic Conference, USCCB, 40 days for Life and the national March for Life.
  4. Prayer and Worship directed to participation in the sacramental life of the Church and in programs of communal and individual prayer, that the culture of death that surrounds us today will be replaced by a culture of life and love.

We are created in the image of God and Jesus instructed us that we are to love our brother as our self. Remember “Human life is sacred. The dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society.” United States Conference of Catholic Bishops