Contact: Joan Mullane
Ministry Mission Statement: Respect Life is a ministry that attempts to bring awareness within the parish to the clash between the culture of life and the culture of death.
Current Ministry Activities: On a yearly basis, the Rosary Crusade for Life is organized in our parish. Rosaries are said throughout the month of October for the end to all assaults on life. The parish count of rosaries said is added to the South Carolina statewide crusade rosary count. Our crusade culminates with an all-night vigil for life in conjunction with the Reilley Council, Knights of Columbus. Pro-life flyers are inserted in bulletins on Right to Life Sunday. Also in October, parishioners are encouraged to participate in the Life Chain at the government center in Beaufort. This is an hour-long, silent prayerful vigil in protest of the assaults on life.
In October white crosses are installed in front of St. Francis by the Sea church, each cross represents one million abortions performed in this country
In January, the anniversary month of the infamous 1973 U.S. Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision, white crosses are held by participants in the Hilton Head Citizens for Life annual Rally for Life in front of St. Francis Thrift Shop on Route 278. Members of the parish also join in the annual mid-January Stand Up for Life rally on the State House steps in Columbia. Also in January, some parishioners and students from St. Francis by the Sea Catholic School go to Washington for the annual March for Life commemorating the 1973 decision. The crowd at that rally now exceeds 500,000.
The parish and school participate in the annual Spiritual Adoption held from August to May. Each month posters are displayed in the church narthex and in the school depicting the month-to-month development of the child in the womb. Also present are prayer cards to St Gerard Maiello, patron and protector of mothers and of children yet unborn. In the narthex are prayer cards Memorare prayer cards for religious freedom and for the closing of abortion clinics.
Prayer vigils, attended by parishioners, are held each Wednesday and Friday at the Savannah Medical Clinic, Savannah, GA, where abortions are performed. Vigil participants leave the parish parking lot after the 8 a.m. Mass and are back by noon. Participants walk up and down in front of the clinic praying the Rosary, for about one hour.
Current Volunteer Opportunities: Participants needed for all the above listed activities.
Abortion is an affliction of the heart and mind that causes the death of preborn children. Remedy – the grace of God as gained through prayer, penance and sacrifice. Please help fill that prescription – join the Spiritual Adoption League by praying each day for nine months for the life of an unborn child in danger of being aborted and for the parents of that particular child so that they may accept the grace and have the courage to allow the child to be born. Although the program is nine months long, many participants pray this prayer throughout the year:
“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I love You very much. I beg You to spare the life of the unborn baby that I have spiritually adopted who is in danger of abortion.” Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
Created, Loved, Redeemed by God …
(August) I’m here. You can see my photo in the narthex. I came into being when the nuclei of my father’s sperm and my mother’s egg united. I am very tiny but need only time and nourishment to grow and develop. Pray for me and my parents.
(September) Our spiritually adopted baby now is one month old. During this first amazing month of life, the baby has grown 10,000 times his size at conception. He is totally dependent on his mother for nourishment. However, he has a heart pumping his own blood and a backbone. He is very, very tiny. The baby is most vulnerable of being aborted during the next month. Pray that the Lord of life might move the heart of his mother to give him the most precious gift of all – continued life.
(October) Your baby is making progress, developing all of his external features and internal organs. His brain is functioning at 40 days. His mother can hear his heartbeat now on an ultrasonic stethoscope. His milk-teeth buds are present at 6 1/2 weeks. From this moment onward, your spiritually adopted baby grows and refines his body. Everything he needs to survive once he is born already is present by the end of the eighth week. Please pray for him and his parents.
(November) The baby now can squint, swallow and move her tongue. She sleeps and awakens. Fingernails and toenails form and she now has her own unique set of fingerprints. Sensitive to touch she will tightly grasp an object placed in the palm of her hand. She breathes amniotic fluid to help develop and strengthen the respiratory system, but she gets the oxygen she needs through the umbilical cord. She is about three inches “tall” and weighs one ounce.
(December) Our baby’s brain has begun maturing – a process that will continue until she is about 14 years old. Her eyelids now are sealed shut and will reopen at seven months. Her taste buds are working. Nutrients consumed by her mother are passed on to her within an hour or two. Three hundred quarts of fluid a day are sent to our baby via the umbilical cord. Fine hair begins to grow on her head, eyebrows and eyelashes. Facial expressions similar to the baby’s parents can be seen at this time. This month’s rapid eye movements (REM) have been recorded – a sign of dreaming. I am about six inches tall and I weigh four ounces – a proper weight for a girl my age.
(January) Our baby is five months old and halfway to birth. He is very active. Sleep habits develop and his mother can feel him move and stretch, particularly when she is resting. He is getting bigger, weighing one pound, is about 12 inches “tall” and is strong enough to kick against the outer uterine wall and dent it. Some day he may play soccer! Up to now, although he swam with ease in his watery world, he was too small for his mother to detect because the inside wall of the uterus has no feeling. Babies born at this time have survived, however.
(February) “I rolled over today!” Baby is six months old. The baby now can roll over inside the womb. Her oil and sweat glands are functioning. A white film layer called veniz covers the baby and protects her delicate skin from surrounding amniotic fluid. The waxy substance will be quickly absorbed into her skin soon after she is born. She now can respond to sound. Her lungs are fairly well developed and she would stand a good chance of survival if born at this time.
(March) “I looked around today!” I now am seven months old. Beginning this month I use four senses. My eyelids open and close and my eyes look around. I can taste, touch, cough, yawn and hiccup. I now recognize my mother’s voice. My grip is even stronger now than it will be after my birth. My hair is growing longer and the downy covering on the rest of my body is disappearing. During this time I will receive antibodies from my mother providing me immunity to a wide variety of diseases. I am between 14 and 17 inches tall and weigh about four and half pounds. I move around a lot and it is getting crowded in here!!
(April) I am eight months old now. I have long fingernails. I’m getting taller. I’m gaining weight – that layer of fat will help keep me warm after I am born. I am looking forward to my birthday and can’t wait to see my mom and dad. Thank you for your prayers for my parents and for me.
(May) “I am here.” The nine-month journey in my mother’s womb is over. Thank you mother for allowing me to grow and develop within you. Thanks also to all who have prayed for me and my mother and father through the Spiritual Adoption program.
Throughout the year, announcements in the Evangelization section of the parish bulletin encourage prayer, meditation and action.
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WHAT’S YOUR PART IN THE PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT?
From time to time throughout the year, parishioners are encouraged to contact their federal or state elected officials. For your convenience, here is a list of those officials:
United States Senate
Tim Scott (R) Lindsey Graham (R)
167 Russell Senate Office Bldg. 290 Russell Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510-4002 Washington, DC 20510-4001
Phone: (202) 224-6151 Phone: (202) 224-5972
FAX: (202) 228–5143 FAX: (202) 228-3808
Website: demint.senate.gov Website: lgraham.senate.gov
US House of Representatives
Mark Sanford (R)
322 Cannon House Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 255-3176
South Carolina State Senate
Thomas C. “Tom” Davis (R)
District No. 46 – Beaufort County
(H) PO Drawer 1107, Beaufort, SC 29901-1107
Bus: (843) 252-8583
(C) PO Box 142, Columbia, SC 29202-0142
Bus: (803) 212-6008
South Carolina House of Representatives
Jeffrey A. (Jeff) Bradley(R) William G. (Bill) Herbkersman (R)
District 23 – Beaufort County District 118 – Beaufort County
(H) 304 Seabrook Drive (H) 151 Gascoigne Bluff
Hilton Head Island, SC 29926 Bluffton, SC 29910
Bus: (843) 342-6918 Bus: (843) 757-7900; Home: (843) 757-5424
O) PO Box 11867, Columbia 29211-1867 (C) PO Box 11867, Columbia 29211-1867
Room 320A Room 308B
Bus: (803) 212-6928 Bus: (803) 734-3063
e-mail: JeffBradley@schouse.gov e-mail: BillHerbkersman@schouse.gov
Post Abortion Ministry – Diocese of Charleston