September 27, 2013

Faithful called to participate in Respect Life Sunday Mass, Life Chain

By Natalie Hoefer

Respect Life Sunday Poster 2013Once a year, on the first Sunday of October, extending for nearly 3.5 miles in Indianapolis is a line of Christians praying silently.

As silent, one might say, as the unborn children or forgotten elderly for whom they pray.

The scene occurs every year on Respect Life Sunday, when the Church in the United States rededicates itself to the mission of respecting and protecting all life.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities refocuses its efforts yearly by declaring a new theme. This year’s theme—“Open your hearts to life!”—reflects the Church’s and the bishops’ continuing call to battle the culture of death and promote the culture of life.

At 1 p.m. on Respect Life Sunday—Oct. 6 this year—a special Mass celebrated by Bishop Christopher J. Coyne will be held at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis.

“The annual Respect Life Sunday Mass provides a beautiful opportunity for Catholics throughout the Archdiocese to come together to worship and witness to the dignity of each human person,” says Rebecca Niemerg, director of pro-life and family ministries for the archdiocese.

“This year’s theme—‘Open your hearts to life!’—reminds each of us that we should open our hearts to Christ, who is our very life, and then we will see him in the face of each person we encounter.

“I invite everyone to participate. I’m looking forward to praying with so many faith-filled people on Respect Life Sunday,” says Niemerg, who moved to Indianapolis from Texas in June to begin her new position.

The Mass will be followed by a life chain of silent prayer sponsored by the Central Indiana Life Chain. The line of Christians of many denominations will extend along both sides of Meridian Street from North Street to 38th Street and will last from 2:30-3:30 p.m.

Central Indiana Life Chain vice president Angela Walker says she was apprehensive at first to be a part of the life chain.

“I used to be scared to pray like that. I thought it was like a picket line. But that’s not what it is at all. It’s just silent prayer.”

Other confirmed life chain events in the archdiocese on Oct. 6, according to, include:

  • Bloomington: Third Street at High Street, 2-3:30 p.m. Contact: Carole Canfield, 812-322-5114
  • Columbus: Second Street at Washington, 2-3 p.m. Contact: Don Demas, 812-372-0774
  • Connersville: 30th Street at Park Road, 2-3 p.m. Contact: Barbara Wagner, 765-647-3154
  • Milan: Highway 101 at Highway 350, 3-4 p.m. Contact: Ed King, 812-654-6502
  • Terre Haute: 3rd Street at Wabash, 2-3:30 p.m. Contact: Tom McBroom, 812-841-0060.

For specific questions or more information about Central Indiana Life Chain, call 317-913-1409 or e-mail

To find additional life chain locations, log on to

T-shirts and sweatshirts can be purchased in advance for $8-$15 by logging on to †


Related: Archdiocese to honor two pro-life advocates for their service at Respect Life Mass

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