September 23, 2011

Mass, Life Chains to highlight Respect Life Sunday events

Children, families and senior citizens are featured in the U.S. bishops’ 2011 Respect Life educational campaign poster. (Photo courtesy USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities)

Children, families and senior citizens are featured in the U.S. bishops’ 2011 Respect Life educational campaign poster. (Photo courtesy USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities)

By Mary Ann Garber

“I came so that all might have life and have it to the full” (Jn 10:10), Christ’s mission on Earth, is the theme for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ 2011 Respect Life educational campaign.

This year, the bishops’ Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities is encouraging Catholics to “allow God to stretch our hearts, and fill them to overflowing with his love, joy and peace.

“With hearts so transformed,” the bishops emphasized, “we can become living witnesses to the meaning of Jesus’ mission.”

One important way for Catholics in central and southern Indiana to promote the Lord’s mission of protecting the sanctity and dignity of life is by participating in the archdiocesan Respect Life Sunday Mass at 1 p.m. on Oct. 2 at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral, 1347 N. Meridian St., in Indianapolis.

Msgr. Joseph Schaedel, pastor of St. Luke the Evangelist Parish in Indianapolis, is the principal celebrant for the pro-life Mass, which also will recognize two Catholics for distinguished volunteer service to the cause of life.

Representatives of 38 Catholic parishes, schools and organizations from most of the 11 archdiocesan deaneries are already registered as participants.

Following the liturgy, pro-life supporters are invited to participate in the Central Indiana Life Chain, a peaceful, one-hour prayer vigil, from 2:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. along North Meridian Street in Indianapolis.

Life Chains also are scheduled in the archdiocese in Bedford, Bloomington, Brazil, Columbus, Connersville, Greencastle, Milan and Terre Haute.

Nationally, Life Chain organizers are marking the 24th year for the pro-life prayer vigil.

Servants of the Gospel of Life Sister Diane Carollo, director of the archdiocesan Office for Pro-Life Ministry, said Respect Life Sunday is a reminder that Catholics must work to end abortion as well as promote chastity.

“The culture of death is designed to destroy human dignity and empty human life of authentic love that respects and protects human life,” Sister Diane said. “We, as a pro-life people, must resist and respond to all attempts by the state to impose sex education programs that oppose our Christian values and beliefs.”

(For more information about the archdiocesan Respect Life Sunday Mass, call the Office for Pro-Life Ministry at 317-236-1569 or 800-382-9836, ext. 1569. For more information about Life Chains scheduled in central and southern Indiana, log on to www.lifechain.net.)

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