The Compass: Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay
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September 29, 2000 Issue
Special Section:
Respect Life Month

'Every human life is a sign of God's love, a trace of his glory'

Respect Life Sunday, Oct. 1, begins Respect Life Month

By Patricia Kasten
Compass Associate Editor

Sunday, Oct. 1, is Respect Life Sunday in Catholic parishes across our country. It also starts the 29th annual Respect Life Month. This year's theme is "Every human life is a sign of God's love, a trace of His glory."

In 1972, while arguments in the Roe vs. Wade case were being presented to the U.S. Supreme Court, the U. S. Bishops launched the Respect Life Month program. They saw a need to bring Church teachings on the value and dignity of every human life to the attention of both Catholics and the wider American community. (The High Court, on Jan. 22, 1973, ruled in favor of abortion on demand.)

Card. John O'Connor, who died in May, served as the chair of the national bishops' Committee for Pro-Life Activities from 1989-92. He defined the pro-life movement in this way: "We are not simply anti-abortion as we are so often painted to be. We are pro-life, pro the mystery of life, pro the wonder of life, pro the joy of life. And we are impelled to share this message with everyone. We need to bring the Gospel of Life to the heart of every man and woman and to make it penetrate every part of society. This involves, above all proclaiming the core of this gospel, which is the proclamation of a living God, who is close to us, who calls us to profound communion with Himself and who awakens in us the certain hope of eternal life. It is the presentation of human life, as a life of relationship, a gift of God, the fruit and sign of his love, it is the proclamation that Jesus has a unique relationship with every person, which enables us to see in every human face, the face of Christ."

This year's Respect Life Month materials, available from parish Respect Life coordinators focus on various life issues, including the death penalty, civic responsibility, the defense of the family, the "Culture of Death,'' post-abortion abortion recovery.

Respect Life Month coincides with the final season of Renew 2000 in the Green Bay Diocese. This season's theme is "Renewing for the 21st Century. In this special Respect Life Month section, we will tie together life issues with the themes for each week of Renew 2000. These themes are:

"Loving the Poor"

"Loving the Earth"

"Loving the Feminine and Masculine"

"Interracial Harmony"

"God's Human Family"

"The Trinity and World Community"

Love is clearly the link. Human life is loved into existence by God and has value at all stages because God continues to love each of us. We, in turn, are called to proclaim this message, this Good News, this Gospel of Life.

"Man is called to a fullness of life which far exceeds the dimensions of his earthly existence, because it consists in sharing the very life of God. The loftiness of this supernatural vocation reveals the greatness and the inestimable value of human life even in its temporal phase." (Pope John Paul II, The Gospel of Life.)

Related articles:
 • St. Vincent de Paul: The quiet ministry
 • Human and earth health linked
 • Helping, respect, love walk hand in hand
 • Changing the face of one Green Bay neighborhood
 • 'Because someone has to say it'
 • In search of a good death

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