Respect Life Apostolate

EDITORIAL: Our Commitment to a Culture of Life is Rooted in Love

Love Saves Lives.

That's the theme of this year's March for Life, which commemorates the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision to legalize abortion. Forty-five years later, more than 59 million babies have been killed through abortion, according to the statistics from National Right to Life.

But the commitment to stopping this travesty isn't just about attending the March for Life in Washington, D.C., every year. It's a commitment -- rooted in love -- that requires our efforts every day of the year.

The pro-life community understands that choosing life isn't always easy. Facing poverty, abusive relationships, and lack of education or employment are among the reasons women seek abortion.

We're called to love and support both the unborn child and the mother. We must remain committed to building a culture of life from the womb through all stages of life. It isn't only the loving thing to do, but also empowering when a woman chooses life for her child.

Finish reading the St. Louis Review editorial here.

Words of Hope

St. Louis Archdiocesan Eighth Graders to Reflect on Chastity, Respect Life during 2018 Creative Writing Contest

Over 1,100 eighth grade students throughout the archdiocese participate in the RLA's Creative Writing Contest each spring. These students --representing 70-plus Catholic elementary schools and PSR programs--are asked to reflect and write about how chastity and other healthy choices in their teenage years help to reduce abortion.

The RLA awards five scholarships and several honorable mention awards to be applied to the students' intended Catholic high school or accredited Catholic home school program. All finalists and award winners are invited to a special assembly with Archbishop Carlson at the Cardinal Rigali Center.

Entries are being accepted for the 2018 Creative Writing Contest now through Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. To enter, contact your parish principal, PSR coordinator, director of religious education, or home school association/co-op. Click here for official rules and more information or call 314-792-7555.

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.

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