Respect Life Committee

What We Do

Our committee works to promote the value of all human life, at every stage of its existence, from the moment of conception to natural death.

Please see below for the current focus of our committee.  We would love to expand our activities, but we need your help.  Please prayerfully consider joining our committee.  Many hands make light work!

Prayer Service

Please join us for a brief prayer service for children lost too soon.

All Are Welcome!

Gatherings will be on the following Sundays, following the 8:30 AM Mass:

December 3rd

January 14th

February 11th

*Held in the Memorial Garden for the Unborn, except will be in the parish hall in Jan/Feb or due to inclement weather.

December Reflections and Prayers

Reflections and prayers in this season of Advent, from USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities:

  • December 3rd  "The Gospel of Life recognizes the full range of threats against human life, from poverty and malnutrition to murder and war.  Particular emphasis, however, is placed on threats to life at its beginning and end--precisely when it is most in need of protection.  In modern times, children in their mothers' wombs and those approaching the end of their lives are certainly among the 'least of these' in our world's estimation." Read more: Live the Gospel of Life "to imitate Christ and follow in his footsteps" The Gospel of Life 51
  • December 10th  "Perhaps one of your friends has become pregnant unexpectedly.  As someone who has been there, I encourage you to support your friend in her new journey of being a mother."  Learn how: 10 Ways to Support Her When She's Unexpectedly Expecting
  • December 17th  "O St. Bakhita, assist all those who are trapped in a state of slavery; Intercede with God on their behalf so that they will be released from their chains of captivity.  Those whom man enslaves, let God set free."  Prayer to St. Josephine Bakhita
  • December 24th  "O Blessed Mother, at the angel's word you went in haste to the aid of your cousin Elizabeth.  Although pregnant yourself, you placed her needs before your own.  By your example of radical solidarity, teach us to reverence and protect those in need, without conditions or expectations... Obtain for us the grace to bring Christ to any expectant mother who is alone and afraid."  Prayer for Radical Solidarity
  • December 31st  "Dearest St Joseph... Help us to faithfully commit ourselves to the service and defense of human life--especially where it is vulnerable or threatened.  Obtain for us the grace to do the will of God in all things."  A Prayer to St. Joseph, Defender of Life

More Reflections and Prayers

Gift of Adoption

Resources are available to assist you in supporting and praying for all whose lives are touched by adoption:

Respect Life Reflection: Radical Solidarity

“Radical solidarity compels us to come alongside vulnerable mothers in profound friendship, compassion, and support for both them and their preborn children. It requires us to address the fundamental challenges that lead an expectant mother to believe she is unable to welcome the child God has entrusted to her. We must do all we can to provide mothers, children, and families with the support they need to flourish. This cannot be accomplished by laws or policy alone, but requires the continual transformation of our own hearts.”

USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities

Respect Life Reflection: “Radical Solidarity” (

Read the full version

Caring for Loved Ones at Life's End

“An old Irish proverb says, ‘It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.’ Indeed, we are created to depend upon one another and walk together in suffering. But when family members or friends approach life's end, we may not know how best to ‘shelter’ them. Here are some concrete ways we can compassionately care for them: read the full version.”

USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities

Caring for Loved Ones at Life’s End

Read the full version

Prayer for Radical Solidarity  

“O Blessed Mother, at the angel’s word you went in haste to the aid of your cousin Elizabeth. Although pregnant yourself, you placed her needs before your own. By your example of radical solidarity, teach us to reverence and protect those in need, without conditions or expectations.”

USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities

“Prayer for Radical Solidarity" (

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The Gospel of Life; Pope Saint John Paul II, Evangelium vitae, no. 99

“I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion. The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. …But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. …The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.”

Pope Saint John Paul II, Evangelium vitae, no. 99. © 1995, Libreria Editrice Vaticana.

Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Read the full version

The Gospel of Life:  A Brief Summary

"Gratitude and joy at the incomparable dignity of the human person impel us to bring the Gospel of life to the hearts of all people and make it penetrate every part of society."

Read the brief summary

Healing Within Marriage from an Abortion

When Susan’s* husband, Juan, told her about the abortion he was involved in during college, she finally understood why he was so depressed and had trouble bonding with their children. The devastation of abortion brings with it many challenges. Often, the people who have participated in an abortion are unaware of the countless ways it is affecting their lives. It is scary to tell a spouse or fiancé(é) about a past abortion. It requires great trust in that person’s love and trust in God. But with the help of an abortion healing ministry, couples can successfully work through abortion-related challenges. God’s grace can bring true healing to the relationships of those who trust in His infinite mercy.

*Names changed for privacy. This is a summary of a USCCB Respect Life Program article by the same name and is reprinted with permission. © 2019, USCCB, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.

Read the full version

The Witness of the Good Samaritan: Palliative Care and Hospice  

“Hope is always possible. To those who care for the sick, the scene of the Cross provides a way of understanding that even when it seems that there is nothing more to do there remains much to do, because ‘remaining’ by the side of the sick is a sign of love and of the hope that it contains. Healed by Jesus, we become men and women called to proclaim his healing power and provide care for our neighbors, until the very end.”

USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities

“The Witness of the Good Samaritan: Palliative Care and Hospice”

Read the full version

Volunteer Opportunities

If you would like information or are interested in sharing your time and talent with the Respect Life Committee, you may call the parish office (515) 993-4482, or complete the online form Opportunities at St. John's to express your interest.

Agencies We Support and Resources

Miscarriage support.  If you or someone you know have experienced a miscarriage, please reach out to our grief ministry for support by contacting the church office:  (515) 993-4482.

Booklet "Why We're Pro-Life.  You are welcome to stop by the table in the front entry area of the church to pick up your copy of the booklet "Why We're Pro-Life" by Trent Horn © 2022 Catholic Answers.  Please feel free to take extra copies to share!

Disability Ministry

Social Justice Resources

Are you facing a pregnancy emergency?  Click on the following link for resources:  Standing With You

St. Ambrose Cathedral's Walking With Moms in Need, Des Moines, Iowa area information and resource list.   Helping moms find support before and after their babies are born.