Respect life directors build the Culture of Life

Published on June 12th, 2012

Back row, left to right: Cheryl Calire, Sr. Mary Veronica, SV, Ed Mechmann, Kathy Gallagher; Front row, left to right: Steve Mawn, Jann Armantrout, Lisa Hall

by Kathleen M. Gallagher

I work with an amazing group of Diocesan Respect Life Directors around the state.  To me, they are largely unsung heroes who do life-changing work on a daily basis.  We recently had a meeting where five of our eight dioceses in New York State shared the many programs, events and happenings they are planning, organizing and implementing.  I was blown away by the magnitude and breadth of their activities!  I marvel at how they accomplish so much with only 24 hours in each day.  They are educating young people with the message of chastity and sexual integrity; collaborating with hospitals and health care providers to provide ultrasounds and other life-affirming services to women facing unplanned pregnancies; healing those who are post-abortive through Project Rachel training; focusing on religious liberty with scores of “Fortnight for Freedom” activities; training the next generation of pro-life leaders; staying current on advances in stem cell research; forming coalitions/building relationships/advocating with lawmakers/keeping people informed…the list is endless.

While I have the luxury of focusing much of my energies on only one prong of the U.S. Bishops’ Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities – that of public policy – these folks know there are four prongs – public policy, pastoral care, education, and prayer – all of them vital to building the Culture of Life.  And they manage to do it all…with passion, consistency, civility and a dedication to the cause of life that is unparalleled.

I am so grateful to God for this group of good people.

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