“Even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, are masterpieces of God’s creation made in his own image, destined to live forever and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect” Pope Francis, 7-13
The Catholic Charities Respect Life Ministry promotes life from natural conception until natural death through prayer, education, legislation and pastoral programs. It is concerned with the following issues: Abortion, Physician Assisted Suicide/Euthanasia, Death Penalty, End of Life and Bioethics.
This ministry promotes and implements the Respect Life Program and the Pastoral Plan for Pro-life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The plan includes the functions of The State Coordinating Committee (Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops, The Diocesan Pro-Life Committee (Respect Life Office) and the Parish Pro-Life Committee.
Resource and Outreach
Through its education component, the Respect Life Ministry explains the Church’s teaching on different life issues such as Abortion, Physician Assisted Suicide/Euthanasia, Death Penalty, End of Life and Bioethics (Stem Cell research). We offer a program in which you can invite a staff member, a priest, or a volunteer to speak to your group, students or at your parish. To arrange for a guest speaker, please contact the Volunteer Services Office of Catholic Charities.
The Respect Life Ministry responds to Action Alerts issued by the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops (FCCB) and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) which involve calling or contacting legislators. Additionally, each year this ministry organizes and sponsors the diocese’s trip to Catholic Days at the Capitol in Tallahassee. Fellow Catholics from around the state gather in Tallahassee to attend a legislative briefing on issues prior to scheduled meetings with their elected officials. This three-day event includes a breakfast/luncheon attended by the bishops of Florida, legislators and Catholic Days participants. A Red Mass is also held in which the bishops of Florida concelebrate.
The Respect Life Ministry’s programs are a pastoral effort to not only provide education/public information to inform, clarify and deepen understanding of the basic life issues, but also to provide a healing program to both men and women. Post-abortion healing is provided through Project Rachel, a program involving counseling and retreats organized to help men and women the opportunity to examine their abortion experience. These retreats are a spiritual and emotional healing process and offer hope and healing to those suffering from post-abortion trauma. To learn more, please visit the Project Rachel page.
The Respect Life Ministry supports the pro-life work within the diocese by working with local pregnancy care centers such as Catholic Charities’ Birthline/Lifeline Pregnancy Care Centers.
Underlying every part of the Respect Life Ministry is the need for prayer and sacrifice. It is our deep belief in the truth of God’s love for all human beings at every age and stage of development that brings us to this ministry. We also believe that our efforts will only be blessed when we base our work in prayer. Prayer is our most powerful resource.
The Respect Life Ministry sponsors regular prayer opportunities including monthly Rosary prayer gatherings in which those in attendance pray for an end to abortion and for those affected by abortion. Three such prayerful gatherings are held the first Saturday of the month at clinics located in: West Palm Beach at 9:00 a.m. at the Presidential Women’s Center (abortion clinic); parking is located behind the Wendy’s on 45th Street.
There is also an annual Rosary service conducted each January on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade ruling by the United States Supreme Court to legalize abortion in this country. This gathering takes place in front of the old courthouse in downtown West Palm Beach.
To find Life Chain activities which occur during the month of October (Respect Life Month), please visit please visit www.lifechain.net, a website for any Life Chain groups or coordinators to share information on their local groups.
We ask for Prayer Warriors to pray for those that are attending Project Rachel’s Post-Abortion Healing Retreats and to pray in response to prayer requests the Respect Life Ministry receives from those who may be considering an abortion.
Ways to Participate
Volunteer: Be a Parish Representative. Find information Here.
Refer: Is there someone you know who can be helped by Respect Life Ministry? Please call 561-360-3330.
Pray: Daily for the unborn, disabled and elderly, individually or at communal prayer services.