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Patrick Castle, founder of the pro-life LIFE Runners organization, carries a crucifix in the Vigil for Life rosary procession on Sept. 14, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. With him are Alyssa Gahl, left, and Janice Todd. All are members of St. Matthew Parish in Bellevue. Participants in the rosary procession walked and prayed from St. Mary Church in Bellevue to a nearby abortion clinic and back to the church. Archbishop George J. Lucas led the prayers. SUSAN SZALEWSKI/STAFF

Respect Life Month debuts with the Catholic Voice’s pro-life coverage

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops designates October as Respect Life Month every year. That appellation gives rise to the Catholic Voice’s annual Respect Life coverage in our first issue of the month.

The theme this year is “Christ Our Hope: In Every Season of Life,” which is “particularly suited for our times,” said the chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life activities.

“Attacks against human life seem to grow ever more numerous and callous,” said Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, and he urged Catholics who feel discouraged by these attacks to “hold fast to Christ, our hope.”

That hope is badly needed by those who believe the lack of respect for human life is such a huge problem in our country that our efforts won’t have much of an effect. On the contrary, showing mercy to those tempted to act against the dignity of life, and not condemning them, can bring about great good, according to Archbishop George J. Lucas in his Q&A. See Archbishop Lucas section.

And the hope Christ offers will motivate pro-life efforts throughout the archdiocese this month. Thousands are expected to prayerfully witness to life in the annual Life Chain on Oct. 6, Respect Life Sunday, and during the 40 Days for Life fall campaign, which includes a vigil outside a Bellevue abortion clinic. See story below for details.

Archbishop Naumann emphasized that Christian hope finds its source in Jesus’ victory on the cross.

 “We know that Christ has conquered sin and death,” he said in a Sept. 26 statement. “Through our Christian hope in the Resurrection, we are given the grace to persevere in faith.”

Archbishop Lucas encouraged a pro-life gathering in Bellevue last month with a similar message. During the vigil, and buoyed by participants’ prayers,  two sidewalk counselors at a nearby abortion clinic experienced the hope and victory of the cross by helping to save a baby. They testified to what happened at a reception following the event. See next story.

Archbishop Naumann also noted that the need to “cherish, protect and defend human life” is year-round. Radio talk show host Cullen Herout is faithful to that call as he gives voice to the vulnerable in every season of life through his weekly talk show on the Spirit Catholic Radio Network, “Ready to Stand.” Herout talks about the radio program and his pro-life efforts in a Q&A with the Catholic Voice. See third story in this section of rotating stories.

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