The Respect Life Program of Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte exists to promote and protect human life through the sharing of relevant resources. We support and work alongside the USCCB Pro-Life Secretariat, Parish Groups and other Pro-Life organizations. Please find on this page Respect Life resources. We regularly update this page with timely and relevant information on Life Issues and Concerns in our diocese, in our state and in our country. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. Thank you for all you do for Life!
“How can there be too many children?
That is like saying there are too many flowers.”
– St. Teresa of Calcutta
Advocacy for Life
The Church urges Catholics to participate in political life. The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us, “It is necessary that all participate, according to his position and role, in promoting the common good. This is inherent in the dignity of the human person … As far as possible citizens should take an active part in public life” (see nos. 1913-1915). Catholics are called to political involvement that is guided by moral principles, with the dignity of all human life from the moment of conception until natural death being the paramount principle from which all others flow. The Church does not serve the interests of a particular party or interest group, but calls all people of good will to see the inherent value of human life, because we are all made in the image and likeness of God. Once this is accepted as our grounding moral principle, we naturally will want to work to protect human life and nurture human life to fulfillment, which means working to meet the needs of those marginalized in society, and giving voice to those who lack a strong voice to protect their human rights and their well-being.
To help you stay informed and have a voice in public policy matters, Catholic Charities provides educational events and mailings in the Diocese of Charlotte. These resources are based on Catholic Social Teaching, and they often go along with campaigns and alerts from our bishop and other Catholic entities.
The mission of Catholic Charities is to be a ministry of “charity, service, and justice.”
The primary public policy and advocacy tool in the Diocese of Charlotte is Catholic Voice NC (CVNC), established by the Bishops of Charlotte and Raleigh in July 2008. CVNC offers North Carolina’s Catholics an opportunity to have a greater voice in the political process, especially in state legislative matters under consideration by the General Assembly in Raleigh. Staff members provide advice to CVNC through participation on the CVNC Advisory Board.
Past alerts have focused on issues like the Racial Justice Act, a sex education bill, school violence protection, a “Choose Life” license plate, the marriage amendment, conscience protection, the Freedom of Choice Act, and health care reform.
To receive email advocacy alerts issued by CVNC and various national Catholic organizations, we encourage you to sign up at the links listed here.
- Catholic Charities USA’s mission is to exercise leadership in assisting its diocesan Catholic Charities member agencies in their mission of service, advocacy and convening. Register for the weekly digest e-newsletter at www.catholiccharitiesusa.org/contact-us/.
- Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is the official international humanitarian agency of the US Catholic community. CRS alleviates suffering and provides assistance in more than 100 countries. Register to receive alerts at www.crs.org/email-sign-up/.
- The Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development works on behalf of the US Catholic Bishops to share and apply CST to domestic and international issues. Register to receive alerts at www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/take-action-now/.
- The Catholic Rural Life applies the Church’s teachings to the social and economic development of rural America and the responsibility for the care of God’s creation. Register to receive the weekly e-bulletin at www.ncrlc.com/page.aspx?ID=258.
- The National Committee for a Human Life Amendment (NCHLA) provides information on legislation as it pursues its vision that the right to life of the unborn child receives full legal recognition. Visit NCHLA’s Action Center at www.nchla.org/action.asp.
Respect Life Booklet
The Diocese of Charlotte Respect Life Resource Booklet, produced by the Respect Life Program of Catholic Charities is linked here. In this booklet, you will find many educational tools and useful resources to help start, grow and guide your Respect Life parish-based ministry.
Rachel’s Vineyard Ministry
Forgiveness and Healing Following Abortion
Are you or a loved one seeking healing from the effects of a past abortion? Rachel’s Vineyard Weekend Retreats, are offered by Catholic Charities for men and women in the western, central and eastern regions of the Diocese of Charlotte. For information about upcoming retreats, including retreats in neighboring dioceses, please contact Jessica Grabowski (English): 704-370-3229 / email@example.com or Lorena Haynes: (English & Spanish) 828-585-0483
Pro-Life Web Resources
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: Respect Life Activities
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: Conscience Rights/Protection (Video)
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: End of Life Ethics
- National Catholic Bioethics Center: www.ncbcenter.org
- Federal Legislative Updates: National Committee for a Human Life Amendment (NCHLA)
- Information on the Church’s call to faithful citizenship
- Information on post-abortion healing: Rachel’s Vineyard
- Project Rachel Ministry: http://hopeafterabortion.com/
- Information on U.S. Senators: www.senate.gov
- Information on U.S. Representatives: www.house.gov
- Resource material and outreach ministries: Priests for Life
- The non-partisan voice of North Carolina’s Bishops: Catholic Voice NC (CVNC)
- National March for Life – Washington, DC: www.marchforlife.org
- March for Life – Charlotte: www.marchforlifecharlotte.org
- Open Your Hearts to Life! Video
- USCCB Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccines
USCCB Pro-Life Resources
To address the “slippery slope” of diminished respect for life found in the United States, the American bishops established the National Office of Respect Life more than 20 years ago.
The Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, under the guidance and direction of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities, works to teach respect for all human life from conception to natural death, and organize for its protection.
Each year they produce an updated Respect Life Program Packet. For the 2019-2020 year, the USCCB Pro-Life secretariat has introduced additional digital and printable resources. They can all be viewed at the Respect Life Program link above. Please contact Jessica Grabowski with questions about the current program.
Respect Life Conference
- Save the date for the 2021 Respect Life Conference. It will take place on Saturday, October 2, 2021 in the WNC/Asheville region at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Swannanoa, NC. More details to come. Registration will open at the end of July. Contact Jessica Grabowski at JRGrabowski@charlottediocese.org with questions.
- The 2020 Respect Life Conference has been postponed until 2021. The Respect Life Program sponsored a live event with Dr. McCaffrey, Neonatologist during Respect Life month. You can view the presentation here.
- The 2019 Respect Life Conference took place in Charlotte at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church. The keynote was given by Dr. Paul Scherz, a professor and bioethicist at Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. Other speakers included Dr. Stephen Sammut from Franciscan University in Steubenville, Dr. Matt Harrison, and Tracy Windsor from Be Not Afraid Ministry. The opening mass was offered by a Rev. Fr. Cory Catron, Parochial Vicar at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church. You can find more about the past conference by visiting the Catholic News Herald article here
- The 2018 Respect Life Conference took place in the Triad area at Bishop McGuinness High School in Kernersville, NC. The keynote was given by Theresa Collett, J.D. a professor of law and pro-life lawyer from the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. The closing mass was offered by Bishop Peter J. Jugis. You can find more about this past conference by visiting the Catholic News Herald article here.
- The 2017 Respect Life Conference took place in the Asheville area at Saint Barnabas Catholic Church in Arden, NC. Keynote speakers included Dr. John Grabowski and Debbie Shinskie as well as mass offered by Rev. Father Adrian Porras. You can find more about this past conference by visiting the Catholic News Herald article here.
- The 2016 Respect Life Conference took place in the Charlotte area at Christ the King High School in Huntersville, NC. Keynote speakers included Jesuit Father Joseph Koterski and Bishop Peter Jugis, Diocese of Charlotte. You can find more about this past conference by visiting the Catholic News Herald article here.