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 second Sunday of the month following the 8:30 AM Mass, unless otherwise specified.

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

July Reflections and Prayers

Reflections and prayers featured this month...

July 7th


“O God our Creator… through the power and working of your Holy Spirit, you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world, bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel to every corner of society.”

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
“Prayer for Religious Liberty”

July 14th


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“Adopting Andrew has made us more aware of God's power and of his love for us. We realize that he always has a perfect plan for our lives.” Read more at

USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities
“An Adoption Love Story”

July 21st-27th


National NFP Awareness Week:  July 21-27, 2024

The Lord God calls us to love Him and each other as He loves us. In marriage, this takes on a unique quality as the complementarity of husband and wife become the "one flesh" union that Sacred Scripture so beautifully teaches. And, God's gift of children are the fruit of such a noble love!

The US Bishops’ NFP Program has good information for your marriage at

To learn more about Catholic teaching on marriage, married love and responsible parenthood, see

Read the US bishop’s document Married Love and the Gift of Life at

To learn more about NFP see

Want to learn a method of NFP? Visit


July 21st


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“Married love differs from any other love in the world. By its nature, the love of husband and wife is so complete, so ordered to a lifetime of communion with God and each other, that it is open to creating a new human being they will love and care for together.”

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
“Married Love and the Gift of Life”


July 26th

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The Memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is celebrated on July 26. They are powerful intercessors for married couples, expectant mothers, and married couples who are having difficulty conceiving, as well as people who are aging. Copies of the “Faith and Perseverance” novena to Saints Anne and Joachim are available for download. You can pray the novena from July 17-25 in preparation for their feast day.  


July 28th


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“Because of our belief and hope in the Resurrection, we can face death not with fear, but with preparation…. We prepare for eternal life by choosing to love and follow God now, in our daily lives and decisions.” Read more at

USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities
“Catholic Considerations for Our Earthly Passing” 


More Reflections and Prayers

Every Suicide is Tragic

“Suicidal individuals—with or without a terminal illness—typically do not want to die; they want to escape what they perceive to be an intolerable situation, and they inaccurately believe that suicide is their only way out. The patient requesting assisted suicide is often asking, ‘Does anyone want me to be alive, or care enough to talk me out of this request and support me through this difficult time?’”  USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, “Every Suicide is Tragic”

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Gift of Adoption

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

Seven Considerations While Navigating Infertility

“We often assume parenthood happens easily after ‘I do,’ but for many married couples, it does not. For some, the joy of conception never happens. Others suffer repeated miscarriages. Still others experience secondary infertility… If you experience difficulty bringing a child into your family, know that you are not alone. God is with you, and his Church desires to walk with you… God has a beautiful plan for your life as a married couple.”  USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities; “Seven Considerations While Navigating Infertility”

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10 Ways to Support Her When She's Unexpectedly Expecting



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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.

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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

Booklet "Why We're Pro-Life".  You are welcome to stop by the table in the front entry area of the church to pickup 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!

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.

Infertility, Life-Limiting Prenatal Diagnosis, and Pregnancy & Infant Loss MinistryHave you or someone you know experienced infertility, a miscarriage, stillbirth, a life-limiting prenatal diagnosis, or infant loss (whether recently or years ago)?  Visit this St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church, Ankeny, IA web page for additional information.

Be Not Afraid (BNA) is a private non-profit organization, founded in 2008, which provides comprehensive case management to parents carrying to term following a prenatal diagnosis. They strive to develop relationships of trust while providing for the emotional and tangible needs of parents at diagnosis, during pregnancy, at birth, and during the post postpartum period for up to one year.  They believe that every baby is a gift, supporting parents not only in advocating for basic care, but also in obtaining the treatment they deem appropriate for their child after birth no matter the diagnosis.  They follow the ethical teaching of the Catholic Church, but serve parents of all denominations.

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

Help for Moms Resource Directory from the St. Ambrose Cathedral's Walking With Moms team, Des Moines, Iowa.  It includes area information and a resource list.  Helping moms find support before and after their babies are born. - Project RachelIt’s normal to grieve a pregnancy loss, including the loss of a child by abortion.  It can form a hole in one’s heart, a hole so deep that sometimes it seems nothing can fill the emptiness.  You are not alone…

Disability Ministry

Partner Organization Resources

A fundraising event for InnerVisions HealthCare, known as the baby bottle campaign, will be held beginning the weekend of October 5th & 6th, 2024.

Click to see Upcoming Events

Hope & Dignity Logo

Hope & Dignity:  A Catholic Response to Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide