During the Summer months, this column will be highlighting the good work and parishioners involved in one of our various Parish Ministries. Each week, we will feature an article from a different ministry, written by one if its members, as a reflection on the generosity and stewardship of the SMOS community.
Respect Life Committee Reflection
by Tim & Alia Keys
Hello friends of St Margaret’s! We are writing today to share about our parish Respect Life Committee – thanks for taking a minute to learn about this ministry.
To share the heart of our ministry, it’s best to zoom out to a perspective view and recognize that all of our ministry work in the parish is rooted in and powered by our belief in the inherent dignity of every person. God is good, and life is beautiful, and we in the Church are tasked to be a vibrant voice to defend the life He has created.
Our parish Respect Life ministry is focused on supporting the beauty of life from its beginning at conception to its end at natural death. Why is this ministry important? A variety of areas in our culture today –abortion, embryonic stem cell research, the death penalty, emerging pressures on elderly or infirm to pursue assisted suicide, and others – gravely infringe on the integrity and dignity of a person, often a person without a voice. Inspired by the richness of Catholic social teaching and Catholic bioethics, our ministry aims to present a clear voice both within the parish and to the broader community to defend and preserve the goodness of each life God has made.
Due to the magnitude of the issue, a natural focus of our ministry has been advocating for life in its early stages and supporting women facing difficult pregnancies. Did you know there are more than 2,500 young lives eliminated by abortion, per day, in the United States alone?1 Each of these lives lost also leaves a mother (and frequently a father) with a wound that is often unspeakable and deep. Undoubtedly, some of you in the parish have suffered and/or are suffering in this way. We aim to connect women and couples with the resources they need to choose life during an unplanned pregnancy and to find hope and healing from the regret of a past abortion.
We raise money for Our Lady’s Inn, an organization supporting pregnant and parenting moms with all of their needs, through the baby bottle fundraiser in the Fall. We focus on education, such as the resource poster displaying efforts in our archdiocese to support mothers, their infants, and families. We pray outside of Planned Parenthood as a support to abortion-vulnerable women, men and their babies.
Following the Supreme Court Dobbs decision a year ago, the national landscape regarding the protection of life in early stages has shifted, but the reality is the unborn child remains extremely vulnerable, and women in St Louis are still in need of support. We are working to be part of that support system, and we’d love to have you join us as we plan for our next year at St. Margaret’s.
If you have questions, suggestions or would like to join us in this beautiful effort, please contact co-chairs Tim and Alia Keys (RespectLifeSMOS@gmail.com). We look forward to your ideas and to working with you!
1In 2020, there were 930,160 abortions in the United States, Guttmacher Institute, www.guttmacher.org.