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Respect Life

Respect Life Ministry. Human life is a precious gift from God.

“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you were born, I sanctified you.” – St. Jeremiah 1:5

Respect Life Ministry seeks to build a culture of life that respects the innate dignity and importance of all human life from conception until natural death. Respect Life ministers work tirelessly to change hearts and minds in our increasingly secular culture through prayer and worship, outreach, education and community involvement. Prayer is the foundation of all we do in defense of human life.

Respect Life ministers join the Rosary Group at St. Julian Eymard on the second Tuesday of each month to pray a special Rosary for Life. Respect Life meetings follow the Rosary for Life in Shea Hall.

From Mothers Day to Fathers Day, Respect Life celebrates a Season for Life to help raise awareness for agencies that work to protect life and help create a culture of life.

October is Respect Life Month. Each year, from Respect Life Sunday to the beginning of November, the Respect Life Ministry sponsors activities in the parish and community to help raise awareness and support for a culture of life and partner agencies who share this vision.

Respect Life ministers organize quarterly Holy Hours to help us pray for a culture that respects life from conception until natural death. In January we lift up the Unborn; in April, near Divine Mercy Sunday, we pray for Abortion, Suicide, Mercy and Forgiveness; in July we lift up Marriage & Family; and in November we lift up the Elderly and End of Life.

The First Friday Fast for Life is a monthly full day fast every first Friday to make reparation for and pray to end the culture of death which is driving abortion, euthanasia, suicide and more. At least one Respect Life ministry member, along with individual parishioner volunteers, may participate. All are invited to pray for those fasting each month.

Fasting is one of the three pillars of penance in the Christian life.  Fasting, prayer and almsgiving express our conversion, respectively towards oneself, God, and neighbor. (CCC 1434)

This self-denial and mortification, as expressed in fasting, is also efficacious for the conversion of others.  Sacrifice and prayer are the vicarious payment we make towards the redemption of another.  St. Paul captured this eloquently when he wrote, “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of His body.” (Col. 1:24)

Intercessory prayer and fasting is exactly the message of Fatima as well. Our Lady of Fatima said, “Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and to pray for them.”  Mary revealed that our prayers and sacrifices are truly efficacious reparations, in which we can even positively affect someone’s eternal destiny.

We can accommodate fasting to our life situation. The important point is that we fast in some fashion, in union with the Church, particularly on Fridays in remembrance of Christ’s Passion, whether just giving up meat, or strictly on bread and water, or somewhere in between the two.

“Lord, Hanging as a vine upon the Wood,
O Christ our Savior,
You have made the ends of the earth
to drink from the wine of resolve.
Therefore do I cry aloud:
I am darkened always by the vicious drunkenness of sin;
Give me to drink from the sweet wine of true faith,
and grant me now the strength, O Savior,
to fast from sensual pleasures,
for You are good and love mankind. Amen.”

Today (June 24, 2022), the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturns the court’s tragic 1973 decision that removed legal protection for unborn children. We welcome this important ruling and the opportunity it creates for a national conversation on protecting human life in the womb and promoting human dignity at all stages of life. This moment should serve as a turning point in our dialogue about the place an unborn child holds in our nation, about our responsibility to listen to women and support them through pregnancies and after the birth of their children, and about the need to refocus our national priorities to support families, particularly those in need.

The Catholic Church brings to such a conversation the conviction that every human life is sacred, that every person is made in the image and likeness of God and therefore deserving of reverence and protection. That belief is the reason the Catholic Church is the country’s largest provider of social services, many aimed at eliminating the systemic poverty and health care insecurity that trap families in a cycle of hopelessness and limit authentic choice.

We also come to this dialogue as Americans, knowing that the principle that all human beings are endowed by the Creator with certain inalienable rights is enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, and that first among these is the right to life.

Make no mistake, because this ruling regrettably will have little impact on abortion in Illinois, as there are virtually no restrictions here, we will continue to advocate strongly for legal protections for unborn children. And we will redouble our efforts to work with all to build a culture that values the inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all.

This ruling is not the end of a journey, but rather a fresh start. It underscores the need to understand those who disagree with us, and to inculcate an ethic of dialogue and cooperation. Let us begin by examining our national conscience, taking stock of those dark places in our society and in our hearts that turn to violence and deny the humanity of our brothers and sisters, and get to work building up the common good by choosing life.

During the month of October, Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament participates in many activities in support of a culture that respects life from conception until natural death. Download the flyer or see below to discover more:

40 Days for Life is the world's largest grass-roots movement to end abortion. Knowing that with God, all things are possible, people of faith unite in 40 days of prayer, fasting, constant vigil and community outreach. We aim to be a peaceful and educational presence. The next campaign runs from September 28, 2022 to November 6, 2022. Follow this link to lead a vigil, join a vigil or discover more. Download the flyer.

Fill A Bottle, Save A Life! October is Respect Life Month. During this month we remember that all life is sacred, pray for the Unborn, their beautiful Moms and for an end to abortion.  Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament will be participating in a Baby Bottle Campaign to support TLC Pregnancy Services and The Women's Center of Greater Chicagoland during the month of October.
Take a bottle, fill it with change and return it to church between September 24, 2022 and October 30, 2022. Your donation will help provide free services for moms and babies in need, including: pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, diapers, formula, food, and baby equipment. Download the flyer.

By participating in Spiritual Adoption, you offer your spiritual support and ask for God's protection, through the intercession of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, of all unborn children in danger of being killed through abortion. Download the flyer to discover more.

Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament will once again join others of faith to march in the Northwest Families for Life STAND for Life in Palatine, Illinois on Saturday, October 8, 2022 between 1pm and 3pm. Follow this link for the complete itinerary and to discover more.

Aid for Women helps thousands of women each year in the Chicago metropolitan area who find themselves facing unexpected pregnancies. Each woman is provided with the emotional, practical and spiritual support that she needs to choose life for her unborn baby and to provide a better future for herself and her child.

Bishop Jeffrey Grob will give the Invocation at this year's Annual Benefit on September 28, 2022 at the Union League Club. Reception at 5:30pm and dinner at 6:30pm. Follow this link to discover more.

Each year, Life Chains form in cities nationwide to make a public, prayerful, peaceful stand for Life. Since 1987, believers have gathered nationwide on the first Sunday of every October to prayerfully stand for Life. Follow this link to lead or join a Lifechain on Respect Life Sunday, October 2, 2022.

All are invited to join a special forty-hour period of continuous prayer in support of a culture that supports life from conception until natural death. The devotion will begin at 7pm on Wednesday, October 12, 2022* and the church will remain open for Prayer and Adoration until 11am on Friday, October 14, 2022 when we will conclude with Benediction. Please see sign-up sheets in our church vestibules or follow this link to sign up online. If you need help signing up, please contact the parish office at (847) 979-0901.

*The Holy Hour including Reconciliation will be moved from QR to SJE on Wednesday, October 12th.

Why 40 Hours?

40 Hours Devotion comes from the 40 hours that Christ’s body traditionally rested in the tomb. 40 is also a significant number in the Bible, often tied to trials, tribulations and/or suffering: the Israelites wandered the desert for 40 years, and Christ was tempted in the desert for 40 days prior to the start of his ministry. Follow this link to learn more about the 40-Hour Devotion.

In honor of Respect Life Month, Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Respect Life Ministry dedicates the October Holy Hour to honor life and pray for aging and respectful end of life for all. This Holy Hour will be celebrated on Wednesday, October 12, 2022* at 7pm at St. Julian Eymard and will begin our 40-Hour Devotion.

*Our regular Holy Hour with Reconciliation will move from QR to SJE on Wednesday, October 12th.

“Look at my Heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce me at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least, try to console me and announce that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall: go to confession, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.” –Words of Our Lady of Fatima

Join Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Respect Life Ministry and others to pray a Rosary for Life on the First Saturday of October.

Are you called? If you feel called to be a voice for life, please contact the Parish Office for more information today (847) 979-0901 or