The first Sunday of October (Oct. 1 this year) is observed as Respect Life Sunday.

As Catholics, we are called to cherish, defend, and protect those who are most vulnerable, from conception to life’s natural end. During October, the Church in the United States celebrates Respect Life Month, a time in which we’re invited to reflect more deeply on the dignity of every human life.

This work has never been more important than now. Life is being threatened in our country from the moment of conception to natural death and at many points in between.

Read Bishop Walkowiak’s letter to parishioners:

(English | Español)

Read the USCCB’s Respect Life Month statement: Living Radical Solidarity

Opportunities for prayer and action around the diocese and beyond:

  • State March for Life
  • Get involved with Walking with Moms and Families in Need – Support during and after pregnancy, baby and toddler pantries, healing after abortion, infertility support, counseling services
  • Sign up for Vigil Hours during 40 Days for Life, Sept. 27 – Nov. 5. Check with your parish pro-life coordinator, or click here.
  • Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat: Healing after abortion
    • Confidential retreat for people who have lost a child to abortion
      I will never leave you or forsake you… Hebrew 13:5
      If you or someone you love is grieving the loss of a child or children to abortion, come and experience the compassionate mercy of Jesus Christ on our confidential weekend retreat. Rachel’s Vineyard retreatsare open to anyone impacted by abortion – women, men, grandparents, siblings, and health care professionals. The next retreat is Oct. 20-22 in the greater Grand Rapids area. Retreat Fee: $150 (includes room for two nights, meals, and retreat materials). No one will be turned away for inability to pay the retreat fee. Scholarships are available. For more information contact Annie to sign up at or (616) 340-1824.
  • Mass for God’s Children, Nov. 2, 7 p.m. at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew.
    • The diocesan Respect Life office invites parents who have experienced the loss of a child before baptism to a Mass for God’s Children. All are welcome to attend this Mass, including parents, grandparents, siblings, relatives and friends. To reserve a memorial rose in your child’s/children’s name(s), or for more information, please contact DJ Florian
  • Prison and Jail Ministry
  • March for Life in 2024
  • Caring for Migrants and Refugees – Resources and ways to help migrants and refugees in our community and beyond can be found on our website.

Programs and Services for Individuals and Families through Catholic Charities West Michigan:

Pregnancy support services | Resources and support for moms and families | Counseling services | Substance abuse treatment & counselingSupport for Seniors

Respect Life Month Program Resources for Parishes:

Parish Action Guide & Webinar

Additional resources:

Respect Life Ministry resources (in the Diocese of Grand Rapids)
Connect with the Respect Life Ministry office & activities on Facebook

From the USCCB:
Respect Life Program resources | Pro-Life Activities Committee | Browse materials published in previous years