The USCCB has named October Respect Life Month. So what does that mean for you and your family? Use these great activism activities to build a culture of life in your home this month.
By Laura Kizior and Mary Kizior
Respect Life Month is an opportunity for us to pause and reflect on God’s gift of life to us. This year’s theme from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is “Moved by Mercy.” In this year’s program, the USCCB calls our attention to the care and compassion that post-abortive women and families need. There are many ways to get involved with saving babies beyond praying for an end to abortion. Here are some educational and activism ideas for building a culture of life in your home during Respect Life Month.
Start with education
Respect Life Month is the perfect time to sit down with your kids and explain why they are special. Remind your children that every human being’s life is special to God. With older children, explain that abortion is the single greatest social justice issue of our time. As Catholics, we cannot ignore the fact that the weakest and most vulnerable members of our society are not valued and can be discarded for any reason.
Try to have conversations about the sacredness and dignity of every human being throughout the month. Spark pro-life discussions in your family with stories of pro-life saints and role models who fought to defend innocent human beings. Watch pro-life movies as a family and discuss how the characters supported (or didn’t support) a culture of life.
Get the little ones involved with with the Miracle of Life Coloring & Activity Book available through Gracewatch Media. As they color, kids learn about pro-life saints, like St. Teresa of Calcutta, and why each person is unique and a special gift from God. Read pro-life picture books together, or take these next four weeks to do Life Is Precious, a unit study which uses picture books to teach kindergarten through second graders about human development, why each person is special, and why standing up for others is important.
40 Days for Life
For forty days, pro-lifers gather outside abortion clinics across the country to pray, fast, and offer real help to women in need. Since 2007, the 40 Days for Life campaigns have saved nearly 12,000 lives, closed 73 abortion clinics, and helped 133 abortion clinic workers to leave their jobs and find healing.
The only way we will build a culture of life and end evils like abortion is through prayer and fasting. While activism and education are important to building a culture of life, we need to remind ourselves that we can’t win this battle against the culture of death without God’s help. This fall’s 40 Days for Life campaign runs September 28 through November 6. Visit 40daysforlife.com to find a prayer vigil in your area.
Cupcakes for Life
Because of abortion, not everyone gets to have a birthday. Cupcakes for Life is an annual event on October 9th where pro-lifers stand on street corners handing out cupcakes to spark conversations about why every human being’s life has value. Cupcakes are a very cheerful way to spread the message that pro-lifers care about moms, babies, and all human beings. All you have to do is bake a bunch of cupcakes (12 or 1200, it doesn’t matter) and be prepared to talk to others about the reality of abortion.
October 9th is just around the corner, but you and your family could certainly do this activism activity any time during the month of October. Check out cupcakesforlife.com for ideas and tips to run your own event.
Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity
On October 20th, people all over the country will give up their voices in silent solidarity with those children who have been killed through abortion. This is a great opportunity for students in school to show their peers the impact of abortion—where almost a third of their generation is missing and will never have a chance to use their voice. Find out more about this event and how to participate at facebook.com/prolifeday.
American Life League’s Pro-Life Pumpkin Contest
Pro-life evangelization doesn’t have to be difficult. We should always be looking for opportunities to show our friends and neighbors that we care about moms and babies. This Halloween, spread a message of hope and respect for the life of every human being by decorating your porch pumpkins with a pro-life message or image.
Pro-life pumpkin carving is a great way to get the whole family involved in spreading the message that every person matters. Need more incentive? Each October, American Life League runs a contest for the best pro-life pumpkin carving. This year, three winning entries will be selected to receive a free pro-life t-shirt!
To enter the contest, post photos of your pumpkin to social media from October 1st to 31st with the hashtag #ProLifePumpkin or submit them on the ALL website here. Need ideas? Check out photos from last year’s contest or find free printable templates here.
Do you have Respect Life Month family traditions? Tell us in the comments below!