“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.
EVENTS SPONSORED BY THE PRO-LIFE MINISTRY THAT OCCUR EACH YEAR INCLUDE:
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 Mansell 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.