L.A. ARCHDIOCESE CELEBRATES RESPECT LIFE MONTH
–OneLife LA, Celebrating the Beauty and Dignity of Every Human Being from Conception to Natural Death, Returns to SoCal on Jan. 18, 2020–
October is Respect Life Month and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles is celebrating at parishes and schools through encouraging prayer and action to build and foster a culture of life. Following the footsteps of St. Mother Teresa, faithful are encouraged to become ‘Agents of Mercy’ to promote action and awareness around pregnancy and parenting, post-abortion healing, adoption and foster care, combatting racism, and finding positive solutions to crime and conflict.
Archbishop José H. Gomez kicked-off the month-long celebration at Christian Service 4 LIFE on Tuesday by addressing nearly 6,000 middle school and high school students to inspire them to create a culture of life though love and compassion. Middle school students from St. Genevieve School in Panorama City presented two books to Archbishop Gomez at the event filled with handwritten letters expressing what each student feels are their spiritual gifts from God and how they plan to use their gifts now and in the future to serve others.
“What a joyful celebration we had at Christian Service 4Life,” Archbishop Gomez said. “I look forward to this event every year, coming together with our Catholic school students to celebrate the God who creates us and gives us life! I pray that this Respect Life Month will be a time for all of us to celebrate life and spread the peace and love of Jesus in our families and in our society.”
This Sunday, Archbishop Gomez will preside at a Mass recognizing the contributions of foster families, which will be followed by the first ever Catholic Foster Family Appreciation Day at LA State Historic Park. Sunday afternoon, Archbishop Gomez will celebrate the annual Mass honoring the life-giving work of health care professionals. Both Masses will be held at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.
The Archdiocese’s Office of Life, Justice and Peace has developed grade-appropriate curriculum for kindergarten through 12th grade students on respectlifeweek.com, which helps them understand current issues through the lens of the Catholic faith. Close to 100 Catholic high school and elementary schools in the Archdiocese will be participating October 14-18.
“Each October we celebrate Respect Life Month as a time to focus on the inherent and unrepeatable dignity of each and every person from the moment of conception through the very last breath of life,” said Kathleen Domingo, senior director of the Office of Life, Justice and Peace. “Made in God’s image, every person is owed loving kindness, and those in need are owed our care and compassion. There are so many ways to show gratitude for the gift of life, and this month we invite everyone to get involved in a work of mercy to celebrate life!”
Borrowing the theme “Give your hands to serve and your hearts to love,” from St. Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa), the faithful are being encouraged to become Agents of Mercy, volunteering with organizations that serve the community in different ways.
As part of observing Respect Life Month, the Archdiocese Office of Life, Justice and Peace is announcing that OneLife LA will return to Southern California on Jan. 18, 2020. For the past five years thousands have gathered in downtown Los Angeles for a walk for life from La Placita/Olvera Street to LA State Historic Park, to celebrate the beauty and dignity of every human being from conception to natural death.
Among the activities planned by the Archdiocese to celebrate life are:
- 40 Days for Life campaigns join parishioners with others in the community to offer prayerful witness outside abortion facilities in 14 different locations throughout the Archdiocese. Individuals and parishes share By Your Side materials to help women and men hurting from abortion find healing.
- Hosting viewings of the movie Unplanned at parishes or schools. A resource sheet (found here) is available to parish leaders as well as more information that can be found at archla.org/unplanned.
- From Oct. 12 to May 2020, The Culture Project Missionaries will be in Los Angeles. These young adult speakers will give presentations on human dignity and sexual integrity to youth (grades 6-12), young adults, and parents. They will share compelling testimonies and important topics, including marriage, family, chastity, vocation, and virtue. Parishes, schools and ministries can schedule them for free.
- On Oct. 24, Holy Family Parish in South Pasadena (1527 Fremont Ave, South Pasadena, CA 91030) will host the workshop “Finding Loving Care at the End of Life,” open to parishioners. The workshop, tailored for parish leaders, caregivers, and the elderly and their family members, has been held at more than 50 parishes throughout the Archdiocese to discuss topics such as Church teaching on end of life ethics, accessing quality palliative care, hospice care and advance health care directives, and pastoral care at the end of life.
On the special Respect Life Month web page, parish leaders will be able to find a wide range of resources on the different topics, including posters, a prayer card, bulletin inserts for each week, and several of Archbishop Gomez’s writings. For more information, visit archla.org/respectlifemonth.
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is the largest Archdiocese in the United States with approximately five million Catholics. For the latest news, events and to subscribe for media alerts visit media.la-archdiocese.org. Follow us on social media at LACatholics on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Video archives and footage of Masses celebrated by Archbishop José H. Gomez are also available.