Prayer is the foundation of all that we do in respect for human life. Our efforts will be less than fully fruitful if we do not change hearts and if we do not ourselves overcome our own spiritual blindness. Only with prayer—prayer that storms Heaven for justice and mercy, prayer that cleanses our hearts and our souls—will the culture of death that surrounds us today be replaced with a culture of life.
“A great prayer of respect for life is urgently needed, a prayer which will rise up throughout the world. Through special initiatives and in daily prayer, may an impassioned plea rise to God. . . . Let us therefore discover anew the humility and the courage to pray and fast so that the power from on high will break down the walls of lies and deceit: the walls which conceal from the sight of so many . . . the evil of practices and laws which are hostile to life.” —Pope John Paul II, The Gospel of Life, no. 100
Pro-Life Resources for January
The unique fingerprint that each of us has – distinguishing us from any other human on the planet, is determined by that DNA at day one! Right from the beginning of life, you are becoming the unique, incredible, unrepeatable person that you are! One person can make a difference in the world, whether in the life of one person or many.
1) The Meaning of Life – “God Knew Your Name” – This short YouTube by James Likens provides a general overview of the sanctity of human life in all stages told through beautiful lyrics and music. I would suggest that for pre-school through 5th grade, show the students the last 3 minutes and 5 seconds. Total time is 5 minutes 38 seconds. Click on the link below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWtU95yBIx8
2) Chris Stefanick presents an excellent 4 minute YouTube video entitled “Pro-Life”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buvFoY1ehPY Excellent for Middle and High School
3) One of the best Pro-life speeches EVER! Gianna Jessen abortion survivor Full video-– 15 min. Excellent video along with other pro-life videos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOWMmx6eBjU
4) The Virtue of Respect from the Diocesan Virtue Program with resources and activities for all ages: diolc.org/catechesis/understanding-and-living-the-virtues/respect
5) The US Bishop’s website for Pro-Life Activities 2024. Download Respect Life Program and promotional resources. Every October, we consider more deeply why every human life is valuable and reflect on how to build a culture that protects life from conception to natural death. Digital and print resources are available to help your parish celebrate Respect Life Month. This year’s focus is on radical solidarity with women who are pregnant or raising children in difficult circumstances. www.usccb.org/prolife
6) Tips for Creating a Pro-Life Classroom Setting – bring the “pro-life” message into the classroom and cultivate a positive atmosphere towards new life.
- Provide students with and invite them to wear precious feet pins.
- Ask students to write their own prayer for respecting life. Pray each student’s prayer throughout the year.
- Create a bulletin board with a pro-life theme.
- Teach current events lessons on specific life issues.
- Invite a pro-life speaker to class. For suggestions, please contact email@example.com
- Plan fundraisers for a local pregnancy center diolc.org/social-concerns/respect-life/pregnancy-resources
- Fund a pro-life billboard through Pro-life across America. prolifeacrossamerica.org
- Organize a field trip to a local nursing home to visit the elderly.
- Show the DVD “Unplanned” for age-appropriate students and with parent’s permission, available for free rental from the Office for Catechesis & Evangelization: 608-791-2658
7) On Pro-Life Wisconsin’s website, there is a simple Chronology of A New Life. Scroll down on the main page at this link: https://www.prolifewi.org/chronology-of-a-new-life
8) See the Diocesan Religion Curriculum: In the Scope section, refer to the Dignity of the Human Person; In the Life in Christ section for each grade, see the first few entries regarding human dignity. https://diolc.org/catechesis/religion-curriculum/grade-school-religion-curriculum/
9) Other helpful websites and resources
- Diocese of La Crosse – Respect Life Resources https://diolc.org/social-concerns/respect-life/learn/ Click also on Take Action – Respect Life
- Word on Fire (Bishop Robert Barron) https://www.wordonfire.org/resources/topics_taxonomy/pro-life/
- Students for Life of America http://studentsforlife.org/
- Generation Life http://www.generationlife.org/
- March for Life Downloads https://marchforlife.org/downloads/
- EWTN Pro-Life http://www.ewtn.com/prolife/pro-life-resources.asp
Pro Life Video (on EWTNs website) http://www.ewtn.com/prolife/pro-life-video-audio.asp
- A pro-life doctor or a pro-life committee member in your area would have Fetal Models. A set of four fetal models reveal the various stages of development of a pre-born baby. Appropriate for use with middle school students and older.
- Prolife Across America based in Minneapolis, MN https://prolifeacrossamerica.org/get-involved/
- Pro-life is pro-science: Slide show of Fetal Development month by month. https://www.webmd.com/baby/ss/slideshow-fetal-development
- Priests for Life: Pro-life Resources and Activities for Students http://www.priestsforlife.org/youth/
10) Organize a Holy Hour for greater Respect for Life
Working with the pastor, host a Holy Hour for Life during January to pray for greater respect for life at all stages, from conception to natural death.
When God created each of us, He did so with precision and purpose, and He looks on each of us with love that cannot be outdone in intensity or tenderness. Moreover, the Lord invites each of us to behold ourselves and each other with the same wonder and awe. No matter how the world might view us or others, let us treat each person as the masterpiece that he or she is. “How can there be too many children? That is like saying there are too many flowers.” – Saint Mother Teresa of Kolkata
Join with the students in asking how God is calling your parish / religious education program / school to serve a Culture of Life – that respects every person.