Annual Respect Life Convention
During October, which is Respect Life Month, the RLA hosts its annual Respect Life Convention. The purpose of the Convention is to provide a forum for Catholics in the Archdiocese of St. Louis to gather and listen to informative and motivational speakers discuss the dignity and sanctity of human life and the latest efforts to build a Culture of Life.
Keynote Speaker - Sr. Grace Dominic, S.V.
The Respect Life Apostolate of the Archdiocese of St. Louis is excited to announce that Sr. Grace Dominic of the Sisters of Life will be the keynote speaker for the 40th Annual Respect Life Convention.
Sr. Grace Dominic's keynote will focus on how the contemplation of the mystery of mercy is the foundation of the culture of life. Sister's talk will invite attendees to dive into the transforming and renewing power of prayer to be a witness of God's merciful love and build an authentic culture of life.
The Sisters of Life is a contemplative/active religious community of women founded on June 1, 1991 by John Cardinal O'Connor for the protection and enhancement of the sacredness of every human life. Like all religious communities, they take the three traditional vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience; however, they are also consecrated under a special, fourth vow: to protect and enhance the sacredness of human life. Their Motherhouse is in New York and they have a presence in Connecticut, the Washington, D.C. area, Colorado, and Toronto, Canada. This year, the Sisters celebrate the 25th anniversary of their founding. Click here to learn more about the Sisters of Life and their apostolates.
- Seeking Hope, Seeking Holiness: Same-Sex Attraction and the Call to Chastity
- Presenter: Deacon Jim Russell, Office of Laity and Family Life
- Synopsis: Can it be that homosexuality is a life issue? How and why do a person's attractions and emotions become 'identities'? And what is the Church's response to a secular culture that utterly rejects the complementarity of man and woman and insists that some men are really women and some women are really men? These questions will be examined in light of the Church's authentic teaching on the reality and dignity of the human person and God's perfect plan for human sexuality.
- Showing Forth God's Mercy by Risking Greatness: The 'Yes' That Tramples Death
- Presenter: Sr. Marie Veritas, S.V.
- Synopsis: We all want to know that we matter, and we all want to do something great with our love. Using stories of grace from the Sisters of Life missions to pregnant women and to women who have suffered after abortion, and drawing from St. John Paul II's Evangelium Vitae, this workshop dives into what it means to say "yes" to radical Love, Life, and Mercy.
- Faithful Citizenship in an Unfaithful World: What the U.S. Catholic Bishops Teach About Forming Consciences and Political Responsibility
- Presenters: Deacon Sam Lee, Campaign Life Missouri, and Tyler McClay, Missouri Catholic Conference
- Synopsis: This workshop will explore the recently updated U.S. bishop’s teaching document on the political responsibility of Catholics, and its implications for those in the pro-life movement. We will also explore what is happening politically on the pro-life front at the state and national level.
- Palliative Care: Support for the Cure, Comfort at the End of Life, and Everything in Between
- Presenters: Jared Bryson and Dr. Robert Bergamini, Mercy Health
- Synopsis: Palliative care provides supportive care for patients with serious illness. Palliative care can be delivered simultaneously with treatments aimed at curing or delivered by itself when curing is no longer an option. Palliative care is a hallmark of Catholic health care, intrinsically linked to Catholic mission and values. It embodies our commitment to provide compassionate, high quality, patient and family-centered care to the seriously ill by anticipating, preventing, and treating suffering.
- Young Catholics Proclaiming the Gospel of Life
- Presenter: Tom Lancia, Office of Youth Ministry
- Synopsis: This session is about showing young people that they are the key to the Pro-Life movement. Change ultimately happens through the conversion of hearts and minds. We will break open ways to engaging individuals, informing them, showing them how to take action, and give them ongoing help/support. Through this approach the culture will begin to see a greater shift in loving humanity and embracing a culture of life, the Gospel of Life. Whether we are 50 or we are 13, we have the power to make lasting change.
- Responding with God's Mercy: Healing After Abortion
- Presenters: Fr. Tom Pastorius, Epiphany of Our Lord parish; Marisol Pfaff, Project Rachel coordinator; Chuck & Linda Raymond, Project Joseph coordinator & Silent No More
- Synopsis: Statistics indicate that upwards of 58 million abortions have been performed in America since 1973. Millions of women and men carry with them the wounds of abortion. How do we respond in mercy to those impacted by abortion? This workshop will address the wounds of an abortion experience and offer practical tips for speaking compassionately to others who may bear these wounds.
- Inside & Out: Stories from Reentry Services, Higher Education in Prison, and Getting to Know a Man on Death Row
- Presenters: Mary Gould and Karen Barney, Saint Louis University; Brian & Kathleen Niebrugge, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque parish
- Synopsis: In 1994 a sweeping act of Congress, predicated upon a "tough on crime" approach, virtually eliminated higher education from US prisons. Simultaneously, the number of prisoners being executed on death row sky rocketed. This workshop will offer a local look at what is being done to uphold the rights and dignity of persons behind bars through Saint Louis University’s Prison Program and through assisting a man on death row. This workshop serves as an important reminder that of the importance of mercy in walking with men and women in prisons throughout the region.
9:00 AM Exhibits Open
9:30 AM Mass
11:30 AM Luncheon Programming & Keynote
2:00 PM Workshop Session I
3:15 PM Workshop Session II
To register by mail:
- Download the registration form: Fillable Format or Static Format.
- Mail the completed registration form along with payment to: Respect Life Apostolate, 20 Archbishop May Dr., St. Louis, MO 63119.
- Cash or check payment only.
To register online:
- Click here to complete the online registration form.
- To register online, payment must be by credit card.
To register by phone:
- Call the Respect Life Apostolate at 314.792.7555, Mon-Fri from 8:30 am to 5 pm.
- Payment accepted by credit card or check.
Opportunities are available to individuals, organizations, and businesses to be a Convention sponsor, have an exhibit table at the Convention, and advertise in our Convention booklet! Download advertiser, exhibitor, and sponsor opportunities and registration information here. Deadline tot ake advantage of these opportunitities is September 2, 2016.
The Annual Respect Life Convention will again be held at the beautiful and spacious St. Charles Convention Center (1 Convention Center Plaza, St. Charles, MO). Free surface lot parking is available. For information about the Convention Center, please click here.
Please Note: Construction to 5th Street and Fairgrounds is scheduled to conclude April 2017. For the latest information on road construction and rerouting, please click here.
St. Joseph Radio will record the keynote address and all workshops. Recordings are available for purchase following the Convention.
We have promotional posters and brochures available. If you would like some materials for your church, school, or organization to help promote the convention contact the Respect Life Apostolate today!