Year of Faith, Respect Life Month being observed

WASHINGTON (CNA)—The U.S. bishops’ chairman on pro-life issues invited Catholics to commemorate the Year of Faith and the 41st annual Respect Life Month through prayer, education and advocacy.

Respect Life Month, along with the upcoming Year of Faith announced by Pope Benedict XVI, provides a “vitally important” opportunity for Catholics to “spark a renewal of love and commitment to the true good of others,” said Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston.

He stressed that a change in the culture can only take place through the unwavering commitment and witness of the faithful, and their compassionate service to those in need.

The cardinal, who heads the pro-life committee for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, released a Sept. 25 statement on the 2012 Respect for Life Month, which will be observed by the Catholic Church this month, beginning with Respect Life Sunday on Oct. 7.

During his recent trip to Lebanon, the pontiff emphasized this concept by stating, “The effectiveness of our commitment to peace depends on our understanding of human life,” which inspires us “to reject not only war and terrorism, but every assault on innocent human life.”

Throughout Respect Life Month and the Year of Faith, Cardinal DiNardo invited Catholics to grow in their understanding of their faith, in order to “live out these teachings more faithfully, witness them more radiantly in our actions, and propose them to others in fresh and engaging ways.”

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