The annual Florida Culture of Life Conference, formerly known as the state Respect Life Conference, will be hosted virtually by the Diocese of Palm Beach, Oct. 24. The conference is jointly sponsored by the state Pro-Life Coordinating Committee and the Florida Catholic Conference.
In anticipation for the virtual event, Bishop Gerald M. Barbarito filmed a pre-recorded Mass that will be streamed for participants at the conference’s conclusion.
At the filming of the Mass, Bishop Barbarito stated in his homily that it is in the Mass that the Lord nourishes life with his very own, calling all to remember the dignity that every individual possesses as made in the image and likeness of God.
“We are so precious to the Lord,” he continued, “that He gives His life for each of us and for every person, not because we deserve it, but because He loves us. As we reflect on the gift of life from the moment of conception until natural death, it is at this moment in the Eucharist that all of the moments of our lives come together and the Lord feeds us with His life here and now and for all eternity.”
In a statement released Oct. 3 by Bishop Barbarito regarding the beginning of Respect Life Month this October, the bishop reflected on the words of Saint Pope John Paul II from his encyclical Evangelium Vitae, The Gospel of Life.
The bishop said, “To our society today, faced with a great deal of threats to life and misunderstandings of its dignity, it is necessary to proclaim the sanctity of life. . . So many of the world’s critical problems would be put in proper perspective with a fundamental respect for the gift of life at every stage.”
These sentiments reflect the larger message communicated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in accordance with this year’s Respect Life Month theme, Live the Gospel of Life, which was inspired by the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s encyclical.
“Pope John Paul’s masterfully articulated defense of the right to life for children in their mothers’ wombs, the elderly, persons with disabilities, and the marginalized is more relevant today than ever before,” read a statement released by the USCCB, Sept. 24.
The virtual conference promises to be an informative and uplifting event with speakers on a variety of life topics, including the unborn, theology of the body, end of life and the death penalty. All ministry leaders, parishioners and community members who seek to become more effective witnesses to the culture of life are invited to the conference.
For information about the conference, including registration, a list of guest lecturers, and schedule of virtual events, visit ccdpb.org/news/events.html/event/2020/10/24/culture-of-life-conference or contact Deanna Herbst, Respect Life Ministry program administrator for Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Palm Beach, at email@example.com or 561-360-3330.