Each October the Catholic Church in the United States invites us to renew our commitment to the gift of life through the celebration of Respect Life Month as well as renewing our relationship with Our Lady as we celebrate the Month of the Rosary.  While these two “months” may seem unrelated, I believe they are related because it is only through our committing ourselves to a life of prayer that we can be true witnesses to the gift of life.

We live at a time when passions are enflamed in almost every corner of our nation; now, more than ever, we need to remain rooted in our lives of faith in order to navigate these stormy waters.  Regarding our witness to the gift of life, we need to do so in a charitable and Christ-like way so that we do not present ourselves as angry, hate-filled people.  It is prayer that will allow us to make this Christ-like statement to the dignity of the human person from the beginning to the end of our natural lives.  Sometimes there can be challenges on how exactly to pray; this is where the rosary can be of assistance.  In the rosary, we reflect upon important moments in Our Savior’s life, as well as the essential role Our Lady played in our salvation.  The familiar prayers allow us to reflect upon the mysteries without having to worry about being too creative or original.

As we enter the month of October, I invite us all to accept a challenge to pray the rosary each day with a specific intention for an increase in the respect of human life.  Our Lady is a wonderful witness to the beauty of the gift of human life.  Her “yes” to the invitation to become of the mother of the savior and I believe through her intercession more hearts can be turned to embrace the gift of life from conception to the time we are called home to God.

Our Lady, Mother of the Church and Mother of Life, pray for us.

In Christ,

Msgr. John J. McDermott

Vicar General