Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What does your church do about abortion?

Priests for Life lists 28 actions priests can take in their local parish. I looked through the list and found ONE thing our church (Lutheran) is doing--brochures (#17) in the ladies' room about a crisis pregnancy center. Some things, of course, we don't do at all--like special masses, holy-hours and rosaries, but we do have sermons, Bible Studies, guest speakers, committees, literature racks, memorials, plaques, newsletters, bulletin inserts, special prayer events, etc. Two things hobble us: 1) our collection plate, and 2) the IRS. I don't think we're that different than other churches.

1) Offer Masses for Pro-life intentions. This can either be a "special event" or a regularly scheduled Mass, the intention of which relates to pro-life.

2) Establish a pro-life prayer group in the parish, dedicated specifically to

prayers and teachings on the value of human life.

3) Offer Pro-life holy hours, Rosaries, Scripture Services. Priests for Life provides some devotional materials.

4) Promote the Be Not Afraid Family Holy Hours. For information, contact the Apostolate for Family Consecration, 3375 County Rd.36 Bloomingdale, OH 43910 Phone: 1-800-77-FAMILY.

5) Preach frequently on abortion, both by entire homilies on the topic and by reference to it in other homilies.

6) Include mention of abortion in the General Intercessions at Mass.

7) Place inserts into the bulletin about pro-life. These can be full-page inserts that can be given to the bulletin company in advance, or short (1-3 line) messages. These are available from Priests for Life. You can order a free monthly pro-life insert for your bulletin, which will be sent to you camera-ready. Call American Life League at 540-659-4171 and ask for the "Pro-life Bulletin Board."

8) Present pro-life topics in Bible Study, RCIA, meetings for school parents, marriage preparation, instructions for sponsors, etc.

9) Invite pro-life speakers to make presentations at meetings which people are required to attend, such as those for the parents of school or CCD children.

10) Have special educational evenings with speakers and/or videos.

11) Have a "Life Mission" with a guest speaker/workshops for several days.

12) Use the parish bookrack to make good pro-life literature and tapes available.

13) Use parish bulletin boards inside and outside the Church to convey a pro-life message. Set up a permanent pro-life sign on the property.

14) Make pro-life resources (Precious Feet Pins, Bumper stickers and Buttons, Pro-life Bank checks, etc.) available to the parishioners. You can get order information from Priests for Life (888-PFL-3448 or 718-980-4400)

15) Add the words "born and pre-born" to the Pledge of Allegiance when it is recited in the schools and at other functions.

16) Sponsor a pro-life essay/poster contest among the children of the school and CCD programs. Display winning posters in the school or in the Church vestibule, and print winning essays in the bulletin.

17) Have readily available at all times concrete information about alternatives to abortion. Place one of more of these numbers on the cover of your parish bulletin as a standard item. Get this information to women in need, to local doctors, and to the secular press. Some of the national hotlines ready to help women anywhere in the country are:



BIRTHRIGHT 800-550-4900






GOOD COUNSEL HOMES 800 723-8331(Answering machine for this number after business hours.)

18) Have information available on post-abortion healing programs like Project Rachel. Call 414-483-4141 or 1-800-5-WE-CARE.

19) Bring people out for a Life Chain or peaceful prayer vigil on the street or at an abortion mill.

20) Encourage a parish pro-life committee to form and grow. Give it constant encouragement.

21) Commission the pro-life committee at a special liturgy. Priests for Life provides a suggested prayer for such a commissioning.

22) Read good books and periodicals on the issue, consult with experts, and take advantage of resources provided by the local diocesan pro-life office, the Bishops' office for pro-life activities, and Priests for Life.

23) Have a plaque or monument erected in memory of the children in the community who died from abortion. Have a school yearbook dedicated to those killed by abortion.

24) Establish some sort of memorial to mothers who have been killed by their abortion. A list of the names of some of these women is available either in printout or poster form. Contact Priests for Life for information.

25) Call for special parish days of voluntary prayer and fasting to end abortion.

26) Establish a parish pro-life newsletter for the parish or community.

27) Participate as a parish in the National Night of Prayer, held each December across the country to pray for an increased respect for life. For information, call Anne in New York at 516-234-6921.

28) Take part in The Gabriel Project, a pastoral program whereby the local parish directly assists pregnant mothers. Contact Priests for Life for more information.

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