Respect Life Apostolate

Respect Life Apostolate

Click here for a podcast featuring RLA's Karen Nolkemper on Board Bill 34

Click here for a podcast on Bishop Rivituso's Annual Memorial Mass Homily!

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

Project Joseph Support Group - Monday, March 5

Catholic Women for Christ Conference - Saturday, March 10

RLA Parish Coordinators/Committee Meeting - Monday, March 12

"Show Me Life" Rally in Jefferson City - Monday, March 13

Helpers Mass & Rosary - Saturday, March 17

2018 Deacon Diaper Drive, Saturday March 17 - Sunday, April 1

Project Rachel Support Group - Thursday, March 22

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Project Rachel & Project Joseph Ministries 

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Latest News

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

New Pro-Life Law Goes Into Effect, Despite Attempts by Planned Parenthood to Block its Enforcement

By Jennifer Brinker | | twitter: @jenniferbrinker

As a judge denied Planned Parenthood's request to block a portion of Senate Bill 5, demonstrations were held in front of five Planned Parenthood locations Oct. 24 to shine light on Missouri's newest pro-life law, which went into effect the same day.

Jackson County Circuit Court judge Judge S. Margene Burnett denied a request by several Planned Parenthood branches and the ACLU of Missouri for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction of parts of SB 5. The lawsuit, filed Oct. 10, targeted the state's 72-hour waiting period, which they noted will result in "extreme delays" of three or more weeks for women in areas not close to an abortion clinic. The law requires the same physician who will provide the abortion to also give information on the medical risks at least 72 hours earlier.

Pro-life advocates held press conferences Oct. 24 outside of Planned Parenthood locations in St. Louis, Columbia, Kansas City, Springfield and Joplin. Planned Parenthood has resumed offering abortions in Kansas City and Columbia, and has said it would seek to resume abortions in Springfield and Joplin. Speakers at the St. Louis press conference included Sens. Paul Wieland and Bill Eigel, Pam Fichter of Missouri Right to Life, Reagan Barklage of Students for Life of America, and Stacy Washington of radio talk show Stacy on the Right.

At the event, pro-life advocates drew attention to the 67 ambulance visits to Planned Parenthood in St. Louis since 2009. Participants dressed in all white to symbolize the number of ambulance calls to the facility. Karen Nolkemper, executive director of the archdiocesan Respect Life Apostolate said that while there are many unknowns about the calls — including the circumstances that bring women there and what complications they might have experienced — pro-life laws such as SB 5 and witnessing outside of abortion clinics will shine a light on the darkness of abortion.

"Health care is life-affirming," she said. "Health care promotes physical and mental well-being. Health care restores. Abortion is and does none of those things." 

Read the rest of the St. Louis Review article here.

Photo credit: Students for Life

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