October is Respect Life Month, a time for Catholics to rededicate themselves to the concept that all life is sacred from conception to natural death. The Diocese of Jackson and parishes offer a variety of ways to show respect for life including education, prayer and advocacy.
The Knights of Columbus, known for their work in the respect life arena, sponsored silver rose prayer services across the state. The rose is a symbol of Our Lady of Guadalupe, sometimes called the protectress of the unborn. There are actually 12 silver roses that travel from Canada, across the U.S. and Mexico until the bouquet ends up at the basilica in Monterrey, Mexico on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Dec. 12.
The knights use the Silver Roses as reminders of Catholic unity and the sanctity of human life. When a rose visits a parish the knights host a prayer service.
Teenagers can show some ‘selfie-respect’ through a national photo contest sponsored by March for Life. According to the group’s website students in sixth – 12th grade can participate. “Submit a ‘selfie’ or picture of yourself, a family member, friend or person you admire capturing an event or accomplishment that in some way helps to build a culture of life in your local community,” state the instructions on the website.
“Possible activities to photograph might include praying in front of an abortion clinic, volunteering at a pregnancy resource center, working at a fundraiser for moms in need, involvement with a school pro-life club, or any number of activities which further a culture of life in your community,” it adds. The prizes include gift cards for iTunes, donations to the respect life cause of the winner’s choice and recognition at the March for Life in Washington DC in January. Enter online at http://marchforlife.org/march-for-life-2015/student-contest/.
The diocese is again sending a bus to the March this year. Youth groups have until Oct. 17 to sign up for spots on the bus using the website www.jacksonmarchforlife.org. Those who wish to speak up locally can sign up for 40 days for life, a program of prayer, fasting and advocacy. A group kicked off a prayer vigil at the last abortion clinic in Mississippi on Wednesday, Sept. 24. Those who wish to join the effort can sign up at www.40daysforlife.com. Search for the Mississippi event.
Respect for life also includes taking a stand against violence. Runners and walkers can make a statement by joining in the Purple Dress Run dedicated to raising money and awareness for domestic violence survivors. Grab your running shoes and favorite purple “dress” for a sunset 5K Run/Walk through downtown Jackson Thursday, Oct. 23, at Jaco’s Tacos, 318 South State Street.
The event, set to kick off with registration at 5 p.m. and race start at 6 p.m., is sponsored by the Domestic Violence Services Center of Catholic Charities and Jaco’s Tacos. At the end, participants are invited for a celebration at Jaco’s Tacos.
The entry fee is $35 for individual runners and $100 for a team of four. Walk-up registrations will be accepted as well on race day. Prizes will be awarded for top male/female participants and best male/female costume.
To register online www.catholiccharitiesjackson.org.
Parish events may include crisis pregnancy center fund-raisers, life chains or prayer vigils. A number of events are featured on page 2 of this edition of Mississpppi Catholic.