Proclaim mercy during Respect Life Month

Published: September 30, 2016

En Español

"From each tiny child waiting to be born, to individuals nearing death, all are precious and deserve our care and protection. Women and men suffering after abortion, individuals tempted to end their lives, couples longing to conceive a child, people pushed to the margins of society by a 'throwaway culture,' expectant mothers facing challenging pregnancies and every other person — each 'has a place in God's heart from all eternity.'" — Pope Francis, apostolic exhortation, "Amoris Laetitia" ("The Joy of Love")

Each October, the Catholic Church celebrates Respect Life Month to proclaim the immeasurable value of every person from conception to natural death. 

In his statement for the 2016 Respect Life Month, Cardinal Timothy Dolan said, "God made each of us in his own image and likeness. He desires to be united with us forever in a loving relationship. God loves us, treats us with respect, and asks us to do the same with others. Every person is sacred and must be treated with the dignity they deserve. No one should ever be treated callously or carelessly — everyone should be cherished and protected."

In keeping with the jubilee Year of Mercy, the theme for the 2016-17 Respect Life Program is: "Moved by Mercy". Cardinal Dolan, the chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, said the theme was inspired by the words of the holy father.

"When we let our hearts be moved by God's mercy, it shapes everything. As Pope Francis said, 'We are called to show mercy because mercy has first been shown to us,'" he said. "Let's ask God to make us channels of his loving mercy: Lord, help us to receive your mercy and turn to you each moment. And please guide us in extending your mercy to others today. Now is the time for mercy."

The Respect Life program begins on Respect Life Sunday, Oct. 2. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops offers resources to help you celebrate with your family or in your parish, including helpful websites and e-toolsposters and articles for group discussion on a variety of topics and more.

In Arkansas, consider taking part in the 40 Days for Life campaign which began Sept. 28 and continues to Nov. 6. Campaigns are taking place in Fayetteville and Little Rock. Several cities will also host a Life Chain on Respect Life Sunday. Visit and click on "Arkansas" to see if a Life Chain will be held in your area.

For more information, contact Catherine Phillips, director of the diocesan Respect Life Office, at (501) 664-0340, ext. 326.