Archdiocese of Chicago

Catholic Chicago Blog

Monday, May 02, 2011

A Message of Love - A Mission of Life

By Margie Manczko Breen

The Respect Life Office is an agency of the Archdiocese of Chicago in the department of Parish Life and Formation.  We are blessed to have an office with 5 staff members who each minister to the people of the Archdiocese of Chicago in different ways.  It is our belief and that of the Catholic Church that every human life is a precious gift, made in God’s image and likeness, to be cherished by all, regardless of how broken, unformed, guilty or vulnerable that life may be.

The Respect Life Office seeks to transform our society into a Culture of Life, where every human being is valued and protected from the moment of conception until natural death.  We minister to Catholics and non-Catholics in parishes, parochial schools, youth groups and colleges.  We utilize the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishop’s Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities, which includes a 4-Point Plan for building a Culture of Life: Education and Public Information, Pastoral Care, Public Policy, and Prayer and Worship.  We seek to convert hearts and minds on a wide range of issues including: Abortion, Post-Abortion Healing, Euthanasia, Chastity Education, Embryonic Stem Cell Research, Human Cloning, Capital Punishment, Ethical Vaccines, Fertility Issues and Artificial Contraception.

Two key areas of the Respect Life Office are the Chastity Education Initiative and Project Rachel for Post-Abortion Healing.  If we teach the youth about the beauty of the Church’s teaching on chastity, then we are more than likely to decrease the number of future unplanned pregnancies and abortions.  For those who seek God’s mercy and healing because of a past abortion, there is the Project Rachel ministry.   This ministry is confidential and offers referrals to trained priests and counselors in the Archdiocese of Chicago.  Hope and healing is available for those who seek it!

During May, the Respect Life Office will re-launch its ministry to expectant mothers in need called Project Gabriel.  In this ministry, some of the women of the parish are called by God to walk with an expectant mother throughout her pregnancy and beyond like a sister or good friend.  These women are called “Angels,” and they are trained to minister in this capacity.  One of the first things that an Angel does with an expectant mother that she is linked up with is to pray with her.  The Angel might be called on to drive her to doctor appointments, take her out for lunch, give advice and just be present to her.  It is a beautiful way to put your faith in action!

The Respect Life Office offers a special annual Mass for Expectant Mothers on Mother’s Day, and this year, Mother’s Day falls on Sunday, May 8.  All mothers receive a blessing from Cardinal George, and expectant mothers will receive a special silk rose with a St. Gerard prayer card and medal attached.  Everyone is welcome at this Mass.  The Mass is at Holy Name Cathedral at 11 a.m.  The Cathedral is located at 735 N. State St.

If you would like more information about the programs of the Respect Life Office or would like to be added to our mailing list, contact Debbie at or 312.534-5355.


Monday, June 13, 2011 10:00 AM

What an incredibly important mission! So many women in Chicago are hurting from abortion, yet so many are also getting abortions. I am glad to hear of the work of this office, and hope that it will take a prominent role in shaping the work of the Archdiocese.

Monique L.