‘The Measure of Love Is to Love Without Measure’

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

For over thirty years, the Catholic Church in the United States has celebrated Respect Life Sunday on the first Sunday in October. The theme this year is “The Measure of Love Is to Love Without Measure.” This theme echoes the words of Jesus, “Whatever you do to the least of my sisters and brothers, you do to Me.”

The message of love has been a consistent theme of Pope Benedict XVI. In his first encyclical, God is Love (Deus Caritas Est) the Holy Father reminds us that “the Church cannot neglect the service of charity any more than she can neglect the Sacraments and the Word. For the Church, charity is part of her nature, an indispensable expression of her very being.”

Fittingly, we celebrate Respect Life Sunday, 2010 in the spirit of the courage and love of Jesus, Who empowers and sends us, through Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist, to heal and transform our world.  Only through, with, and in His love can we build a culture where every life is sacred, unconditionally.

In 2006 and 2007, in Rome, Pope Benedict offered these reflections on life. “Life is the first good received from God and is fundamental to all others. God’s love does not differentiate between the newly conceived infant still in his or her mother’s womb and the child or young person, or the adult and the elderly person. God does not distinguish between them because he sees an impression of his own image and likeness (Gn 1:26) in each one.”

In that light, we have merged the Offices of Respect Life and Social Justice into the Office of Life and Justice to challenge us to recognize, protect, and affirm the God-given dignity of all God’s people, from conception to natural death, keeping in mind the primacy of the right to life, as the first and fundamental right and act of justice.

To continue to do God’s work, entrusted to all of us, we need your support.  The Respect Life Collection is the primary source of funding for our Life and Justice educational and informational resources and initiatives. Your support will help us meet the challenge of building a Culture of Life in our time by moving the wider culture to respect the lives and dignity of all persons through faith formation, discipleship, and service. May we live the encouraging words of Pope Benedict, when he prayed, “that every national institution may strive to guarantee respect for human life from conception to natural death.” I ask you once again to generously support this collection.

May God continue to bless you and guide you.

Fraternally,

Most Reverend Joseph A. Galante, D.D., J.C.D.

Bishop of Camden

 

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