Christ our Hope in every season of life

Respect Life Month, October 2019

…[T]ogether we may offer this world of ours new signs of hope and work to ensure that justice and solidarity will increase and that a new culture of human life will be affirmed, for the building of an authentic civilization of truth and love.”

— Pope St. John Paul II, “Evangelium Vitae”

During the month of October, the Church asks us to reflect more deeply on the dignity of every human life.

Here in Vermont, we grasp at the seasons that change and embrace the life that the natural environment provides for us; the warmth of summer to the respite of winter. We respect the seeds that grow into food and embrace the leaves that blaze and fall.

Our love for all good things must extend to the potential life nestled in the womb of a woman, our neighbor. Growing up on Lake Champlain surrounded by nature, I marveled at potential; what an apple held inside, an acorn, a fish egg and the whirling maple seed. Each could become something more and mighty — with a lineage.

We, as Catholics, are called to defend and protect those who are the most vulnerable from the beginning of life to its end. Our vocation is to be the salt of the Earth, to be light and to share the hope we have in Christ.

Thank you for all your continued efforts protecting the lives of the unborn, caring for the sick, the imprisoned, the poor, the dying and the elderly. In Vermont today, human life and its

for greatness are threatened to the extent of enshrining abortion in our constitution by the first-ever amendment (Proposal 5).  This would be tragic. Yet, we are the Church, and Christ

has always breathed life into the darkness of the world and will continue to. We pray that our hope in Christ’s resurrection will strengthen us in protecting human life.

This year’s theme for the Respect Life Program is “Christ Our Hope: In Every Season of Life.” St. Pope John Paul II wrote, “We need to bring the Gospel of life to the heart of every man and woman and to make it penetrate every part of society” (“Evangelium Vitae”). We all can pray for a culture of life; share your stories of hope, be the one who brings the Gospel of life to your neighbor and watch as the ripple effect of our unity in prayer, action, joy and our hope in Christ alter the future of our families, communities and Church.

Prayer and hope will bring Vermont back to life, flourishing and full of potential.

Resources and ideas for building a culture that cherishes and protects human life can be found at

For more information and/or support contact me at meisenbarth@

— Maggie Eisenbarth is the respect life coordinator for the Diocese of Burlington.

—Originally published in the Oct. 5-11, 2019, issue of The Inland See.