Respect Life

St. Louis Catholic Church respect life imageThe Respect Life Committee represents the parish’s efforts to promote, support, and defend the most fundamental of the Catholic Church’s teachings in social justice regarding the protection of the dignity and sanctity of human life at all stages of existence, from the moment of conception to natural death.

Our activities include prayer and special services, the National March for Life, Maryland March for Life, 40 Days for Life, and support to abortion alternatives including Columbia Pregnancy Center and Mary's Home.

National March for Life

The National March for Life. It is an inspiring, peaceful, vibrant, and joy-filled rally of women, men, young people, and children from all across the country. Every year, tens of thousands of pro-lifers converge on the National Mall and march on Capitol Hill.

Picture of Respect Life Committee at past National March for Life.

The right to life is a human right. Our defense of that right is a joyful witness to the beauty and dignity of every human person.

Picture of Respect Life Committee at past National March for Life.

Maryland Catholic Declaration for Healthcare Decision Making

Continual advances in medical technology bring many blessings but also pose complex ethical questions. While many of us avoid thinking about illness and death, they are a reality. We encourage you to take time now, before a crisis, to prayerfully consider your health care and end-of-life wishes with your Catholic faith in mind, to talk with family members, and to put your wishes in writing. The Maryland Catholic Conference has developed resources that can help you in this process and bring comfort and peace. Principles of health care and end-of-life decision making, FAQs, and an advanced care directive that is Catholic, were developed in light of Maryland law, and can be used here in Maryland.

Theology of the Body

Between 1979 and 1984, Pope St. John Paul II delivered a series of Wednesday audiences that eventually became known as the Theology of the Body (TOB). This profound teaching offered what St. John Paul called an “adequate anthropology”—an examination of what it means to be human, made in God’s image and likeness, and how that reality is made visible through the human body, giving a Sacramental View of Reality. The human body has a specific meaning, making visible an invisible reality, and is capable of revealing answers regarding fundamental questions about us and our lives:

  • Is there a real purpose to life and if so, what is it?
  • What does it mean that we were created in the image of God?
  • Why were we created male and female? Does it really matter if we are one sex or another?
  • What does the marital union of a man and woman say to us about God and his plan for our lives?
  • What is the purpose of the married and celibate vocations?
  • What exactly is "Love"?
  • Is it truly possible to be pure of heart?

There is a six-part series that delves into the riches of Pope St. John Paul II's Theology of the Body, presented by Christopher West.

  • An Encounter with Christ the Bridegroom - An introduction and overview of Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body
  • Original Man - Who man and woman were created to be in the beginning, as found in the book of Genesis
  • Historical Man - Who we are now after the fall and in the light of the redemption
  • Eschatological Man and Celibacy - What we are destined for in heaven and how it relates to the celibate vocation
  • Marriage and Humanae Vitae - Living the Theology of the Body in the vocation of marriage
  • Questions and Answers - Ways of implementing the Theology of the Body in everyday life

Maryland Against Physician Assisted Suicide

Natural Family Planning

Natural Family Planning, Its All Natural graphic

Natural family planning (NFP) is the practice of achieving or avoiding pregnancy through an awareness of the fertile and infertile phases of the woman's cycle. When pregnancy is to be avoided, abstinence is used during the fertile time. It is healthy, organic, and natural. And it is holy!
These methods allow the married couple to live according to Catholic teaching on welcoming children and being open to life.

Local Instruction for NFP

Other Resources

Project Rachel

Project Rachel Baltimore ImageProject Rachel Baltimore ( serves all women and men hurting emotionally and spiritually after involvement with abortion. If you are interested in attending a retreat or would like to speak with a peer minister, a priest or counselor, please email or (410) 625-8491 (call) or (410) 299-9345 (text only). All services are confidential.

God's healing love and mercy are always possible

Holy Innocents

Holy Innocents Ministry imageHoly Innocents is a ministry for families who have lost children to miscarriage. The ministry offers information about burial and memorial options as well as resources on spiritual and emotional support. For more information call 410-547-3142 or email Your call or email will be returned.

The Gospel of Life

Gospel of Life Image"The Gospel of Life Compendium" is a condensed version of the landmark pro-life encyclical. This thorough summary makes Pope St. John Paul II’s prophetic writing more concise and easier to understand for those looking to deepen their understanding of the Church’s beautiful teachings on the sacredness of human life. An introductory foreword provides background and context to help readers better understand The Gospel of Life.

Respect Life Month

Respect Life Month imageSince 1973, the Catholic Church in the United States has observed October as “Respect Life Month.” This year, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities invites Catholics to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Respect Life Month by embracing “radical solidarity” with women facing difficult or challenging pregnancies.

Bishop Burbidge echoes Saint John Paul II, who coined the term “radical solidarity” in reference to the care owed to vulnerable pregnant women: “In firmly rejecting ‘pro-choice’ it is necessary to become courageously ‘pro woman,’ promoting a choice that is truly in favor of women. … The only honest stance, in these cases, is that of radical solidarity with the woman.”

While our efforts must remain strong to end legalized abortion, Bishop Burbidge affirmed the personal responsibility of all Catholics to “thoroughly surround mothers in need with life-giving support and personal accompaniment.”

Read Bishop Burbidge’s full statement, “Living Radical Solidarity” here.

We seek your ideas and efforts to promote a greater sense of God’s love for all human life. If you are interested in this life-giving mission, please contact Sue and Frank Arlinghaus at 410-531-1320 or More resources and information can be found at