.- A year-long initiative from the U.S. bishops is calling the faithful to respond to the needs of the unborn, supporting life in its most vulnerable stages.
“We are called to love and respect one another as Christ does,” said Cardinal Séan P. O’Malley of Boston, who heads the pro-life committee for the U.S. bishops’ conference, in an Oct. 4 video.
In the video, posted online, he delivered a message for Respect Life Sunday, which took place this year on Oct. 6 in dioceses across the country.
Respect Life Sunday kicks off Respect Life Month, the cardinal explained, as well as “a full year of programs devoted to promoting and upholding the dignity of every person’s life, from the first moment of conception to the last moment of natural death.”
The U.S. bishops’ conference has said that Respect Life Month and the following year of pro-life activities will take place in parishes throughout the nation, focusing on prayer and education.
The theme for the 2013-2014 program is “Open Your Hearts to Life,” the cardinal noted, “following the call given to us by Pope Francis.”
“We are called to promote a culture of life where people are more important than possessions and where no child is denied the right to life,” Cardinal O’Malley stressed.
“We are called to show understanding care and concern for women in a crisis pregnancy, and to help them choose life for their children,” he continued.
At the center of the pro-life cause is a reflection of Christ’s love for humanity, the cardinal observed.
“In all these ways we give witness to the presence of the Lord in our midst, and to the never-failing love of Jesus Christ, who loved us first, loved us last, and loves us always.”