October is Respect Life Month and honoring the theme “Be not afraid. Be courageous for life!” the Archdiocese of Los Angeles is celebrating at parishes with the distribution of materials encouraging prayer and action based on the example of saints around life events such as pregnancy and parenting, post-abortion healing, adoption and foster care, and care for the elderly and dying.

“These themes invite encounter with some of the most vulnerable people in our communities — people who are often overlooked and may feel alone,” said Kathleen Buckley-Domingo, director of the Archdiocese’s Office of Life, Justice and Peace. “They ask us to reach beyond our usual activity to personally engage in building a culture of love and life with the very people we see on a daily or weekly basis.”

The celebration of Respect Life Month is an outgrowth of the Convocation of Catholic Leaders celebrating the joy of the Gospel in all parishes. This year the Archdiocese has created a special web page for parish leaders with a wide range of resources on the different topics, including posters, bulletin inserts, prayer cards, and Mass intercessions for each week.

Honoring the event’s theme “Be not afraid. Be courageous for life!” each Sunday of October parishes will remember and honor saints who exemplified the love and courage for life through active ministries. The saints are Saints Anne and Joachim, who raised the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus (Week 1- pregnancy and parenting). St. Jerome Emiliani, a military captain who embraced the orphans of his time with love after converting while imprisoned (Week 2 - foster care and adoption). St. John Paul II, who advocated for life and lived and died with dignity (Week 3 - end of life), and Servant of God Dorothy Day, who healed from an experience of abortion to serve the poor and homeless in a revolutionary way (Week 4 - post-abortion healing).

Catholic Schools are scheduled to participate in Respect Life Week, Oct. 16-20, 2017. More than 8,000 junior high and high school students will join Archbishop José H. Gomez at Christian Service 4 LIFE for a day of  music, activities and speakers encouraging youth to explore their Christian duty to serve all human life on Wednesday, Oct. 25, at the Galen Center in Los Angeles.

For more information, visit archla.org/respectlifemonth.