Contributors Life matters

‘Radical solidarity’ calls Catholics to put their love into action

Debra Niesen is the archdiocesan consultant for the pro-life office.

by Debra Niesen

“God is on the move!” a group of us agreed, reflecting on some wonderful pro-life ministry work taking place around the archdiocese this summer.

Even though recent data confirmed what we feared after failing to pass the Value Them Both amendment just over a year ago, it is inspiring to see many respond in such a positive way.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment June 2023 report showed abortions increased 57% from 2021 to 2022. As expected, without Value Them Both, Kansas became the Midwest abortion destination, with over 69% taking place on women coming from out of state. Abortions performed on minor girls increased 49% and live-dismemberment abortions increased 29%.

Archbishop Naumann says that while we may no longer be able to protect women and preborn children from the harms of abortion through law, we can rescue them with love. We are  blessed so many throughout the archdiocese are answering this call.

Because of your generous donations to the Respect Life Fund, we increased grants to local pregnancy centers that lovingly serve women and save preborn children. Donations will also fund new Embrace Grace support groups for single pregnant women as part of our Walking With Moms parish initiative. Incredible people are stepping forward to lead these groups to show women they are loved, supported and capable of heroism.

This summer, 30 high-schoolers joined us for our first Defenders of Life Youth Leadership camp. These amazing kids showed what it truly means to be pro-life by serving at a maternity home, hosting a picnic for friends with special needs and visiting residents at Villa St. Francis in Olathe. Education and experiences like this help build a culture that cherishes life and offers life-affirming solutions to scary, but often temporary, pregnancy challenges. You’ll be hearing more about other new initiatives coming soon.

Many others in our community are also doing incredible things for life:

• The new Selah Maternity Home just opened in Lawrence.

• Fifteen men from around the diocese completed an expedition to Colorado to summit Uncompahgre Peak to raise funds and awareness for foster children.

• Archbishop Naumann blessed the new hospice wing of Villa St. Francis that provides a loving environment for end of life care.

On Oct. 1, the archbishop will kick off Respect Life Month at the 10:30 a.m. Mass at St. Joseph Church, Shawnee. All are welcome. This year’s theme, “Radical Solidarity,” calls Catholics to put our love for others into firm and determined action. Thank you to all doing this in big and small ways!

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Debra Niesen

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