March 11March 11 Editorial: We must not become complacent in our efforts to build a culture of life (September 23, 2022)

September 23, 2022


We must not become complacent in our efforts to build a culture of life

Each October, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops reminds us to “consider more deeply why every human life is valuable and reflect on how to build a culture that protects life from conception to natural death.”

We have recently seen landmark pro-life legislation following the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade in late June. That includes a new Indiana law that gives legal protection to most unborn babies. It was passed in early August by the Indiana General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Eric Holcomb.

In the wake of such clear pro-life victories, our efforts to build a culture of life must continue.

The 31 days in October that mark Respect Life Month are a time when we must stand up for the least among us—the unborn, the hungry, the homeless, the immigrant, yes—even our brothers and sisters in prison—and remind humanity that each of us is made in the image of God and, just as important, are our brothers and sisters in Christ.

But we must remember, it all begins with life.

The first Sunday of October is designated as Respect Life Sunday and, this year, Archbishop Charles C. Thompson will celebrate the archdiocesan Annual Respect Life Mass at 1 p.m. on Oct. 2 at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral, 1347 N. Meridian St., in Indianapolis.

During the liturgy, the archdiocesan Office of Human Life and Dignity will present the Archbishop O’Meara Respect Life Award and the Our Lady of Guadalupe Pro-Life Youth Award.

All are invited to participate in this Mass that honors respect for all life from conception to natural death.

Our annual pro-life outreach during Respect Life Month will also continue with the fall 40 Days for Life campaign, which runs from Sept. 28-Nov. 6. A campaign of prayer, fasting and peaceful activism, it is held in the spring and fall with the purpose of turning hearts and minds from a culture of death to a culture of life and bringing an end to abortion.

Two locations in the archdiocese are again participating: Bloomington and Indianapolis.

Indiana’s near-total abortion ban went into effect on Sept. 15, but two lawsuits filed against the law are still waiting to be heard. (Related story: Preliminary injunction granted in case against S.B. 1, pausing abortion ban)

“We had already decided to have the campaign before that [first lawsuit] came out,” said 40 Days for Life Indianapolis co-coordinator Linda Kile in a recent article.

“… Women will still show up and need to know where to go for help. Plus, they [Planned Parenthood] will still offer birth control services and possibly abortion referral services that continue the culture of death.”

For those wishing to participate in 40 Days for Life, the Bloomington campaign will take place in front of the Planned Parenthood facility at 421 S. College Ave. Parking is available at the meters along the street at $1 per hour. Do not park in the Planned Parenthood parking lot.

To sign up, go to

For more information, contact Deacon Russell Woodard at 812-988-6995 or e-mail

The Indianapolis campaign will take place in front of the Planned Parenthood facility at 8590 Georgetown Road. Parking is available along Georgetown Road; do not park in the Women’s Care Center parking lot or at the industrial complex across from the Planned Parenthood facility.

The Indianapolis campaign will have an opening event at St. Luke the Evangelist Church, 7575 Holliday Dr. E., in Indianapolis, from 2-3 p.m. on Sept. 25, with guest speaker Mary Carmen Zakrajsek of Students for Life of America.

The Knights of Columbus will hold a 12-hour overnight vigil in front of the Planned Parenthood facility starting at 7 p.m. on Oct. 14. All are welcome to join.

A closing rally will take place on Nov. 6 in front of the Planned Parenthood facility from 2-3 p.m.

To sign up, go to

For additional information, contact Tim O’Donnell at 317-372-0040 or e-mail

To find other 40 Days for Life campaigns outside of the archdiocese, go to and select “Locations.”

Despite the recent victories for the pro-life movement, we must not become complacent in our efforts to build a culture of life.

St. Joseph, defender of life, pray for us!

—Mike Krokos

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