"Open your hearts to life" has been a favorite theme of Pope Francis and one that has particular urgency today. This year’s theme for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Respect Life Program fills us with encouragement and hope and calls us to love, defend and celebrate all human life. It calls us to joyfully follow the example of Christ, to love without limits, and further, to act on that sense of true Christian charity.
We know that we live in a world full of threats to the sanctity and dignity of human life. However we also know that through prayer, education, responsible citizenship and pastoral care of all human life, especially the most vulnerable and in need of our love, we transform our society into a culture of life; we know that all things are possible in Christ. We can protect the unborn, serve those faced with disabilities, care for the sick and dying, and stand against violence, and we can do so with compassion, charity and justice.
We celebrate October as Respect Life Month, but we are reminded all year round of the sacredness of life and the joy of love. Our Office of Pro-Life Activities and the St. Gianna Pregnancy Outreach Center, along with our pastors and parish Respect Life Coordinators, stand ready to implement this program and partner with each of you in defending and celebrating human life. Together we commit ourselves to the sanctity and dignity of all human life.
Through prayer and through the celebration of Mass and the Sacraments, we can know and love God better and open our hearts to all human life. In the Year of Faith, the focus on the New Evangelization is not only on learning doctrines; it is about learning to live our Christian life fully and bringing Christ’s love alive within us to all we meet.
I invite each of you to join me on Respect Life Sunday, October 6, 2013 at St. Joseph’s Cathedral as we celebrate the Eucharist at 10:30 a.m. It will be signed for the hearing impaired and I look forward to the opportunity to bless babies, expectant mothers and families immediately after Mass. This will be followed by a small socialwith light refreshments.
Be assured of my prayerful and grateful best wishes as together we work to promote all life through love.
Yours sincerely in Christ,
Most Reverend Richard J. Malone
Bishop of Buffalo