This first weekend in October kicks off Respect Life Month in the Diocese of Orange and in dioceses throughout the United States. We respect life because human life is a gift. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI taught us that “Every child…..brings us God’s smile and invites us to recognize that life is his gift, a gift to be welcomed with love and preserved with care always and at every moment.” 

As Christians, we are called to respect human life from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death. The sick, elderly, handicapped and hungry deserve our service and love. More importantly, we need to reach out to the most defenseless and vulnerable. I mean the unborn children. We live in a “throwaway” culture that tempts us to treat the unborn children as dispensable commodities. They deserve our protection, care and respect because they are the guardians of the most precious of gifts. 

So we enter this Respect Life Month with a renewed commitment to be lights as Jesus’s missionary disciples to all persons who are vulnerable in our nation, our world, and in our neighborhoods. As we take up our Pennies from Heaven collections to support women, men, and families facing unexpected pregnancies, we are resolved not simply to support monetarily the clinics, shelters, and centers with which we work, but to ensure that parishes and parish leaders are connected to these centers, as well as the myriad of other local resources to support and advocate for those in need. Whether homeless or undocumented or imprisoned, whether in need of clean air or domestic violence help or diapers, we are there. That’s what the “Walking with Moms in Need” campaign is about.(For more information on how to get involved, go to: rcbo.org/respect-life ) 

We Catholics honor Mary during this month of October. Two thousand years ago God entrusted to Mary His Son, the source of LIFE. Through our prayers and rosaries, we ask Mary to intercede for us, so we become bold witnesses to the Gospel of Life effectively. 

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