Called To Action

The Archdiocesan Respect Life Apostolate began its work in March of 1973 (then the Archdiocesan Pro-Life Committee) as a response to the U.S. Supreme Court decisions, Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, of January 22, 1973 which legalized abortion on demand in the country. 

Cardinal Carberry announced that this new agency would be funded by the Annual Catholic Appeal, with Father Edward O’Donnell, then editor of the St. Louis Review, as its coordinator.  To assist Father O’Donnell, the Cardinal also appointed dedicated clergy and laymen to an executive advisory board.

Since 1973, the Respect Life Apostolate has developed an expansive network with programs and services that have effectively responded to many life issues within St. Louis community.

Past and Present Directors:

  • 1973 – 1978  Father Edward O'Donnell
  • 1978 – 1985  Father Robert Boisaubin
  • 1985 – 1995  Father Joseph Naumann
  • 1995 – 2007  Mrs. Molly Corcoran Kertz
  • 2007 – 2009  Mrs. Christina Heddell
  • 2009 – 2012  Mrs. Beth Lauver
  • 2012 - present Ms. Karen Nolkemper

40 Years of the Respect Life Apostolate

This video outlining the history and mission of the Respect Life Apostolate was produced for the "Commemorate and Commit" banquet on March 2, 2013 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and it was first shown publicly to the nearly 700 people in attendance at the dinner.

Please take a few minutes to watch this incredible video.