Respect Life Apostolate

Respect Life Apostolate

The Respect Life Apostolate (RLA) promotes the Catholic Church’s teachings on respect for and legal protection of every human life from conception to natural death by coordinating educational, spiritual, pastoral, and public policy advocacy efforts with particular focus on those issues in the culture that threaten life - abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, and unethical advances in scientific technology.

Upcoming Events

2018 8th Grade Creative Writing Contest - Now through Friday Feb. 23

Monthly Helpers Mass & Rosary - Saturday, Dec. 16

2018 LifeLine Coaltion Giving Campaign - Donate Here

Parish Coordinators Meeting - Monday, Jan. 8

Archdiocesan Young Adult Pro-Life Holy Hour - Thursday, Jan. 18

2018 March for Life - Friday, Jan. 19 (Washington, D.C.) 

Annual Roe v. Wade Memorial Mass - Saturday, Jan. 27 

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Latest News

New Archbishop Carlson Fund Benefits Respect Life Apostolate, Kenrick-Glennon Seminary

Anonymous Donor's Generosity Benefits Archdiocesan Pro-Life, Priest Formation Efforts

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson visited the offices of the Roman Catholic Foundation of Eastern Missouri Dec. 4 to ring the Celebration Bell to mark the establishment of the Archbishop J. Carlson Endowment Fund. The Roman Catholic Foundation rings the bell each time a new fund is established.

The Archbishop Carlson fund was established with a gift from an anonymous donor and will provide operating support to Kenrick-Glennon Seminary and the archdiocesan Respect Life Apostolate. Kenrick-Glennon President-Rector Fr. James Mason and Respect Life Apostolate Executive Director Karen Nolkemper joined the archbishop for the ceremony.

Donate to the fund at www.rcfstl.org/funds or by mail to the Roman Catholic Foundation/Archbishop Robert J. Carlson Endowment Fund; 12 Archbishop May Drive; St. Louis, MO 63119.

Article and photo are courtesy of the St. Louis Review

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

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