Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In our lives there are great joys and sorrows. We experience them within our families, as part of society and as members of the Catholic Church. The way we view life and the way we support each other is based on a very fundamental element of our faith. The Catholic Church proclaims that each and every human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society. We are called to be messengers of God’s love, treating one another as cherished and chosen by him. In doing so, we help build a culture that respects all human life.
Each October during Respect Life Month, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops launches a new cycle of the Respect Life Program — a year-round, nationwide effort to help Catholics understand, value and help cultivate respect for human life.
This year’s theme, Live the Gospel of Life “to imitate Christ and follow in his footsteps,” is inspired by the church’s celebration of the 25th anniversary of the landmark pro-life encyclical, Evangelium Viitae (The Gospel of Life), written by Pope St. John Paul II. The encyclical passionately reaffirms the church’s constant teaching on the value and sacredness of every human life and the Respect Life program resources reflect that life-affirming spirit.
Please take a moment to consider how you can implement this year’s theme in your own life and ministry in collaboration with others. Our Social Action Office has a small supply of print materials provided by the bishops’ conference, and additional information can be found at respectlife.org.
With gratitude for your concern about and action taken on life issues, I am sincerely yours in Christ
Bishop Thomas Zinkula
Bishop of Davenport