2018 Respect Life Month Statement
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, Chairman
USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities
October 5, 2018
dear friends in Christ:
The month of October is annually observed by the
Catholic Church in the United States as Respect Life Month. We are called to
cherish, defend, and protect those who are most vulnerable, from the beginning
of life to its end, and at every point in between.
Yet this year, as we approach Respect Life Sunday on
October 7, our hearts are heavy with revelations of how those who should be
most trustworthy have not only failed in this regard but have inflicted immense
evil. As USCCB President Cardinal Daniel DiNardo expressed, "the Body of Christ
At such a time as this, we become even more aware of
the need for messengers of God's love and instruments of His healing. We
realize again, with renewed urgency, our personal call to help others encounter
God's transforming, life-giving love and to defend the sanctity of every
person's life, at every stage and in every circumstance.
This year's Respect Life theme is "Every Life:
Cherished, Chosen, Sent," highlighting our call to build a culture of life as
missionary disciples. Drawing upon the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe and St.
Juan Diego, this theme is briefly unpacked in a short reflection. I humbly
invite you to read and reflect on it this Respect Life Month (www.usccb.org/respect-life-reflection).
(There are also many other resources at www.usccb.org/respectlife
that are available for use this month and throughout the year.)
In his first letter to the Corinthians, Saint Paul
tells us, "As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the
body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. …If [one] part suffers, all
the parts suffer with it" (1 Cor 12:12,26).
We are called and sent 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. The Body of Christ needs you. The world
Cardinal Dolan is Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities and
Archbishop of New York. Please visit www.usccb.org/respectlife to
learn more about this year's Respect Life Program.