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                 “We proclaim that human life is a precious gift from God, that each person who receives this gift has responsibilities toward God, self and others; and that society, through its laws and social institutions, must protect and nurture human life at every stage of its existence”. U.S. Catholic Bishops, Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities, November 2001.
                 Following the guidelines of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Pro-Life Ministry of the Archdiocese of Hartford works to teach respect for all human life from conception to natural death by:
    · Education.  Raising consciousness of the sacredness of human life and the societal and personal effects of pro-life values.
    · Pastoral concerns.  Meeting the pastoral needs related to human life issues in the 216 parishes of the Archdiocese through a network of persons.
    · Advocacy.  Promoting laws that protect life.
    · Prayer.  Placing all pro-life concerns in relationship with God from Whom the gift of life comes.
    Pro-Life Representatives work in conjunction with Pro-Life Ministry of the Archdiocese of Hartford in education and advocating Catholic family values.  The pro-life representative is responsible for communicating to his/her pastor and the congregation, pertinent information regarding news affecting the values that form the core of our Catholic beliefs.  Staff of the Pro-Life Ministry are available to meet with individuals or groups to educate on this mission.

    January  - March for Life, Washington, DC
    April—Mass of Remembrance for Children who have died
    Sept.-Nov.—40 Days of Life Campaign in Hartford
    October—Archdiocesan Respect Life Mass
    3 Retreats—Weekend Rachel’s Vineyard Retreats
                 In October each year, Respect Life Month, the Pro-Life Ministry sponsors a Respect Life Mass at the Cathedral of Saint Joseph in Hartford.  Archbishop Henry J. Mansell, presents each new pro-life representative with a commissioning certificate which affirms the representative’s commitment to Catholic family and life values.  He also recognizes individually, each pro-life representative in attendance and gives him/her a blessed candle.
    Archbishop Blair also recognizes at this Mass, individuals who have been particularly outstanding in their pro-life efforts and bestows on them the Saint Fianna Bretta Molla Award which is a citation and a bronze medal signifying their commitment.

    The Gospel this weekend offers a perspective on the material world.  While possessions are needed, Jesus says, "One's life does not consist of possessions" (Lk 12:15).  This comment by Jesus is not something new to any of us. We have heard this all before. But we also know that there is wisdom in storing up for ourselves. As a matter of fact, saving for the future is an act of personal responsibility. We are constantly told to save for retirement, to have a rainy-day fund, to set aside something for a vacation instead of going into debt to take one. All of these actions are so we don't become overly dependent on the social fabric and cause an undue burden on others.  There is a difference between having a sufficiency and having an excess. When our desire for an excess outstrips our reasonableness and our need, then we are flirting with greed, the very thing that the Gospel warns against.  Yes, we may work hard, and save for the future. We may even win the lottery. But when we have more than we need the Lord expects that we use it not just for ourselves but also for others. What we do with the blessings we have makes all the difference.
    ©2013 Liturgical Publications Inc.

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