Respect Life Apostolate

Celebrating Life and Love Twice Given

St. Louis Archdiocese Fills Cathedral for Annual Adoption Mass

Each November in honor of National Adoption Month, the Archdiocese of St. Louis hosts an Annual Adoption Mass and reception at the Cathedral Basilica.


Birth parents and adopted children, parents, and families are honored in a special way. They're invited to bring up the gifts at Offertory, receive a special blessing by the bishop, the homily reflects the theme of adoption, and a reception is held in their honor after Mass. 

Matt and Lauren Bohnert hold their young daughter who they adopted with the assistance of the Archbishop Carlson Adoption Fund. The Bohnert Family spoke at the 41st Annual Respect Life Convention and brought up the gifts at this year's Adoption Mass on Nov. 19.

This year was no different. To a filled Cathedral, Bishop Mark Rivituso celebrated adoption as the gift of love twice given by speaking to the heroism of both birth and adoptive parents and how the children enrich their lives. 

Bishop Rivituso then related the gift of adoption to the universal spiritual adoption we all have as children of God. He asked all present to relect on how they can "be the adopted child God has called me to be?" and challenged them to always "affirm one another, enrich your families, and live out the radiance of Jesus."

This annual event is hosted jointly by the Respect Life Apostolate, Good Shepherd Children & Family Services and the Office of Natural Family Planning.

  • Click here to learn more about adoption resources and services in the St. Louis Archdiocese. (scroll halfway down) 
  • Click here to learn more about the Annual Adoption Mass.
  • Click here to read the St. Louis Review adoption series articles.

At the reception following Mass, Bishop Rivituso poses with the Lauver Family who adopted four sons. Beth Lauver is a former executive director of the Respect Life Apostolate.

Another beautiful family of the St. Louis Archiocese blessed by the gift of adoption.

Former RLA Director Archbishop Joseph Naumann Named USCCB Pro-Life Committee Chair

Archbishop Joseph Naumann, who served as the director of the St. Louis Respect Life Apostolate from 1985 to 1995, was recently elected to chair the Pro-Life Committee for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. 

Archbishop Naumann is known for his strong support of St. Pope John Paul II's Culture of Life. He prioritizes pro-life issues in his teaching ministry and regularly challenges pro-abortion public policy and politicians, according to the National Catholic Register.

At the same time, the archbishop has compassion on those facing crisis pregnancies and those caught up in the culture of death.

As the Register reported, "As a young priest, he oversaw the pro-life office of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Under his leadership, the archdiocese began the Project Rachel ministry, a post-abortion healing ministry. He also worked to support pregnancy centers and homes for mothers and children."

Read the entire National Catholic Register article here.

Photo credit: Scott Maentz via Flickr (CC BY 2.0) via CNA

Legislative Expert to Address Respect Life Convention on Sunday

October 23, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

What: 39th Annual Respect Life Convention
Where: St. Charles Convention Center (1 Convention Center Plaza, St Charles, MO 63303)
When: Sunday, October 25, 2015, 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Lunch and keynote at 11:30 a.m.
Who: Keynote speaker, Charmaine Yoest, Ph.D., President and CEO of Americans United for Life (AUL)

ST. LOUIS – The 39th Annual Respect Life Convention, hosted by the Respect Life Apostolate of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, will take place on Sunday, October 25, at the St. Charles Convention Center. Charmaine Yoest, Ph.D., President and CEO of Americans United For Life (AUL), will deliver the keynote address. Nearly 800 attendees are expected to attend the convention.

Americans United for Life (aul.org) is heralded as one of the chief legal architects of the pro-life movement. Dr. Yoest’s keynote presentation will offer insight into the success of pro-life laws enacted since 2011 through a state-based legislative strategy.

Mass, exhibits, and afternoon workshops are all free and open to the public. The lunch and keynote begin at 11:30 a.m.

Workshops offered at the convention will address topics such as physician-assisted suicide, youth in the pro-life movement, and moving beyond debate to dialogue. For a complete listing of workshops and for more information about the convention, visit stlrespectlife.org.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis was the first diocese in the nation to establish what was then the Pro-Life Committee, now called the Respect Life Apostolate (RLA), following the landmark Roe v Wade decision in 1973. Every October, which is Respect Life month, the RLA hosts its annual convention. The purpose of the convention is to gather, listen, and discuss efforts to respect the dignity and sanctity of life and efforts to build the “Culture of Life” in our society.

#CatholicSTL

Record Number of St. Louis Youth to Attend March for Life in Washington

January 15, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

2,000 St. Louisans to Participate in Generation Life Because Unborn Lives Matter

ST. LOUIS - More than 2,000 teenagers, young adults, volunteers, and chaperones from the St. Louis area will make the pilgrimage to Washington, D.C. for the 42nd annual March for Life on Thursday, January 22. The date commemorates the tragic anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, which has led to more than 56 million abortions in the United States.

The Generation Life Pilgrimage

What: Generation Life Pilgrimage to Washington, D.C.
Who: 2,000 St. Louis area teens, young adults, & volunteers
Where: St. Louis and Washington, D.C.
When: Wednesday, January 21-Sunday, January 25
Why: Because unborn lives matter

The annual pilgrimage from St. Louis, known as “Generation Life” or “GenLifeSTL” since 2013, is organized by the Catholic Youth Apostolate of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. A record number of attendees will take part in the pilgrimage this year, representing more than 60 parishes, schools, and universities in the archdiocese. Thirty-nine busses will depart from seven different locations around the St. Louis area on Wednesday, January 21.

The March for Life in Washington, D.C.

What: 42nd Annual March for Life
Who: Approximately 500,000 marchers from around the country
Where: Washington, D.C.
When: Thursday, January 22

The 2,000 St. Louis pilgrims will arrive in Washington on Thursday, January 22 in time for the March for Life with more than 500,000 people from around the country. They will then spend two days touring the city and participating in spiritual and educational programming.

Part of the programming includes a presentation by Ryan Bomberger, co-founder of the Radiance Foundation (theradiancefoundation.org) and the awareness campaign TooManyAborted.com. Bomberger, who is bi-racial, was conceived when his biological mother was raped. His mother courageously chose life for her son and Bomberger was adopted into a multi-racial family. His life testifies to the fact that unborn lives matter, regardless of how they were conceived.

Back in St. Louis

What: Keep up with #GenLifeSTL
Where: Online, social media, Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis
When: Wednesday, January 21-Sunday, January 25

Friends, family members, media, and anyone staying in St. Louis can be part of the action on social media by following @GenLifeSTL on twitter, using #GenLifeSTL on twitter and instagram, “liking” the GenLifeSTL facebook page, and on the GenLifeSTL blog (blog.stlouisreview.com/genlifestl).

In addition to local parish prayer services in the area, the Archdiocese of St. Louis will be hosting two main events to commemorate the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Those events are as follows:

Annual Roe v. Wade Memorial Mass
Saturday, January 17, 9:30 a.m., Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis (4431 Lindell)
Archbishop Carlson will be the celebrant and homilist. A rosary procession to the Planned Parenthood abortion facility on Forest Park Ave. will follow Mass.

Pro-Life Holy Hour of Prayer
Thursday, January 22, 7:00 p.m., Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis (4431 Lindell)
Organized by the Respect Life Apostolate and St. Louis Young Adult Ministry

Additional Information

Archbishop Carlson will celebrate Mass in Washington on Thursday, January 22 at 7 p.m. CST. Mass will be streamed live on the GenLifeSTL blog (blog.stlouisreview.com/genlifestl).

Ryan Bomberger’s presentation will also be streamed live on Friday, January 23 at 7:30 CST.

Ryan Bomberger, GenLife participants, or representatives of the archdiocese, can be made available for interviews upon request. Members of the archdiocesan Office of Communications staff will be in Washington, D.C. for the duration of the pilgrimage to facilitate media requests.

#CatholicSTL

Abortion Survivor to Keynote Respect Life Convention on Sunday

October 24, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

What: 38th Annual Respect Life Convention
Where: St. Charles Convention Center (1 Convention Center Plaza, St Charles, MO 63303)
When: Sunday, October 26, 2014, 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Who: Keynote speaker, abortion survivor Melissa Ohden; 800 attendees expected

ST. LOUIS – Melissa Ohden, the survivor of a failed saline abortion in 1977 and founder of The Abortion Survivors Network (theabortionsurvivors.com), will deliver the keynote address at the 38th Annual Respect Life Convention on Sunday, October 26, at the St. Charles Convention Center.

More than 800 attendees are expected to attend the convention and hear Melissa's address entitled "A Voice for Life." Her story is full of joy, hope, and love, with a message that goes beyond mere survival to the transformational power of forgiveness. The sold-out lunch and keynote begins at 11:30, but Mass at 9:30 a.m., booths and exhibits, and afternoon workshops beginning at 2:00 p.m. are all free and open to the public.

"Reflecting Pope Francis' message that we are all 'masterpieces of God's creation,' especially the most vulnerable in our society, our Convention's lineup of expert speakers will address topics like why we are pro-life in a whole life way, the beauty of adoption, and how to end abortion with love," said Karen Nolkemper, Executive Director of the Respect Life Apostolate of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Workshops offered at the Convention include topics such as Ending Abortion with Compassion, The Descent of Ethics, and The Gift of Adoption. For a complete listing of workshops and for more information about the convention, visit stlrespectlife.org.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis was the first diocese in the nation to establish what was then the Pro-Life Committee, now called the Respect Life Apostolate (RLA), following the landmark Roe v Wade decision in 1973. Every October, which is Respect Life month, the RLA hosts its annual convention. The purpose of the convention is to gather, listen, and discuss efforts to respect the dignity and sanctity of life and efforts to build the "Culture of Life" in our society.

#CatholicSTL 

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