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Building a culture of life

By Bishop Terry R. LaValley

January 25, 2023

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

Have things gotten better since the U. S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade? Surely, it was a huge step in the right direction in confronting our culture of death. However, news stories and our own experience tell us that there has been a new wave of opposition, even violence, suffered by many faith-based pregnancy centers since last June’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization opinion.

Clearly, this judgment was a necessary first step, but not sufficient. St. Pope John Paul II wrote, “A radical solidarity with women requires that the underlying causes which make a child unwanted be addressed.” Similarly, Pope Francis observed that abortion is a brutal result of our failure to care for one another. So, what can we do to build a Culture of Life?

The Church in the North Country continues to care for and promote a Culture of Life in a culture determined to demean, even destroy human life. For years, your generous support of our annual Respect Life Collection has enabled the Diocese of Ogdensburg to assist many local efforts in promoting the dignity of the human person.

These include, most recently, helping five Gabriel Projects in Potsdam, Brasher Falls, Massena, Plattsburgh and Ogdensburg. Needed help was offered to the Plattsburgh Pregnancy Center, Malone Catholic Charities Childbirth and Parenting Education program, Watertown’s Walking with Moms in Need, Birthright, Liferight, Light of Truth Radio, Lewis County Right to Life and the diocesan Natural Family Planning efforts.

As you see, many are engaged in parish and community initiatives to walk with pregnant women and new moms and their families. The Catholic Church is the largest charitable provider of social services to women, children, and families in the United States. We understand that our neighbor needs help not just during pregnancy, but throughout the whole of life’s journey. Such assistance, such accompaniment provides rays of hope that a Culture of Life is attainable, one person, one family, one community at a time.

Colleen and John Miner, Directors of our Respect Life Office, coordinate the steps we take in protecting and supporting the life and dignity of every human life. We are grateful for their important ministry here in the North Country. Thank you for your prayers and generous support of the 2023 Respect Life collection and for all your efforts in changing minds and touching hearts.

Faithfully yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Terry R. LaValley
Bishop of Ogdensburg


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