October has been designated as Respect Life Month by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Respect Life Program stresses the value and dignity of all human life. It is observed in Catholic dioceses throughout the United States. According to the Office of Family Life, the month of October is dedicated to ‘increasing a greater culture of life through the areas of public information and education, pastoral care, public policy, and prayer.”
As part of our Respect Life outreach at Saint Brigid, we continue to sponsor a foster care and adoption initiative called “Fostering Love“, that strives to offer loving and practical support to fostering and adopting families in our community. One of the goals of the initiative is to build “Care Communities” of volunteers who will provide crucial support such as meals, clothing, supplies, or childcare to fostering and adopting families.
As previously noted, as Christians, we should be aware of the reality that some women who conceive a child may not be prepared physically or emotionally to raise and nurture that child. Parents who adopt a child or provide foster care may be in a better position than the birth mother to raise and nurture that child. They may be able to provide a loving environment for the child and may have a viable and strong support system to assist them.
Some of our parishioners have chosen to adopt children or provide foster care. They have done so after careful thought and prayer, and have embraced the related blessings, opportunities and challenges. However, most of us are not in a position to adopt a child or provide foster care, but most of us are in a position to enhance adoption and foster care awareness. We may be able to provide spiritual, emotional, or financial support to those involved. Adoption and foster care are ways we can demonstrate our concern for the sanctity of life.
An appreciation for adoption and foster care is reflected in the following “ADOPTION PRAYER” provided by the organization “beliefnet”:
Father of the fatherless, you give your children a home in which to dwell;
and like a loving mother you gather us into your household.
We give you thanks for the child who has come to bless this family
and for the parents who have taken this child to be their own.
By the power of your Holy Spirit, fill these parents with trust, understanding and affection;
and, through this child in our midst,
enable us better to know the mystery that we are all Your children by adoption;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Thank you for all you do to support and embrace the sanctity of life.