Respect Life

  • Message from Bishop O’Connell

    As the new year begins, there are many issues in society that challenge our Catholic moral and social teachings.  Opposition to abortion remains our “pre-eminent priority.” During the month of January when we acknowledge the 48th anniversary of the fateful Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision, I invite the clergy and faithful of the Diocese of Trenton to join one another in a common prayerful response: (1) pray the rosary daily for the rest of the month for an end to abortion in our country; (2) pray the newly created “Novena to St. Joseph” to end abortion that will be published on our parish and diocesan websites each day, January 14 through 22; (3) pray and fast to end abortion on the actual anniversary date, January 22, as parishes celebrate Masses for the legal protection of the unborn.  Since COVID precautions will restrict our usual participation in the annual March for Life in Washington on January 29, I will celebrate Mass online that day and many parishes will celebrate Masses in churches for all these intentions. As a Diocese, as parishes, let us pray for an end to abortion, for the legal protection of the unborn and in thanksgiving to God for the gift of human life.  Thank you.  Bishop O’Connell

    (January 14-22, 2021)

    St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church and Guardian of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Child Jesus, the Son of God whom she carried in her Immaculate womb: intercede for us, we pray, that all recourse to abortion might cease in our nation and our world.  As your cared for Mother and Child, care for all women who bear the gift of life in their womb.  May no harm ever endanger them and may no choice ever threaten the blessing of human life that God has created within. Guard them with your loving protection, at every moment, until His will has been fulfilled.  St. Joseph, spouse of Mary and foster father of the Lord, help us build a culture of life that yields a civilization of love among us.  

    Say the “Our Father,” the “Hail Mary” and the “Glory be” after the novena prayer.

  • Click Picture for Information on the 2021 March for Life

  • NJ Reproductive Freedom Act (RFA)

    The nature of this bill is extreme and horrific.  It was introduced in Trenton in October and would further expand access to abortion in NJ. The NJ Catholic Conference (NJCC), which represents all of the NJ Bishops, is developing some virtual educational materials to increase our knowledge and awareness of this bill, which will be placed on a dedicated page on the NJCC website. This webpage currently contains the NJ Bishop’s letter of opposition, a video webinar outlining the main points of this legislation, a printable sheet of those key points, and some other printable statements and resources. Link to the NJCC’s webpage for current information about NJ’s RFA:

    Bishop O’Connell encourages our Parish family to learn about this bill now and to begin to organize pther parishioners to take action, should this bill start to move in Trenton.  As of now, it looks as though RFA will not be acted upon during the current legislative session. 

    The NJCC and our NJ Dioceses will hold off on encouraging protests and action alerts until they are advised if/when there is indication that the bill will start moving in Trenton.

    January – Bishop O’Connell has requested that extra Rosaries be prayed throughout the month of January for the end of abortion and for a strengthened Culture of Life.

    Bishop O’Connell’s January Novena for Life – Bishop O’Connell will be leading a special Novena for an end to abortion which will occur during the 9 days leading up to  January 22.

  • The Value of Life for Kids

  • Father John's Homilies
    During Respect Life Month of October

  • "Unplanned"

    Go Behind the Scenes of the Movie "Unplanned"
    (click on picture below)

    Get an inside look at Unplanned, a movie about Abby Johnson's inspiring true story of transformation. Learn about its power to turn the tide in the pro-life culture wars!

  • Answer the Prayer to publicly and peacefully pray for an end to abortion

  • Respect Life Prayer
    O Mary, Bright dawn of the new world,
    Mother of the living,
    to you do we entrust the cause of life.
    Look down, O Mother,
    upon the vast numbers of babies
    not allowed to be born,
    of the poor whose lives are made difficult,
    of men and women
    who are victims of brutal violence,
    of the elderly and the sick
    killed by indifference
    or out of misguided mercy.

    Grant that all who believe in your Son
    may proclaim the Gospel of Life
    with honesty and love
    to the people of our time.

    Obtain for them the grace
    to accept that Gospel
    as a gift ever new,
    the joy of celebrating it with gratitude
    throughout their lives
    and the courage to bear witness to it resolutely,
    in order to build,
    together with all people of good will,
    the civilization of truth and love,
    to the praise and glory of God,
    the Creator and lover of life.

    Pope John Paul II

  • 2019 has seen some disheartening laws passed at the State level.  New Jersey Governor, Phil Murphy, signed an assisted suicide bill, while New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, signed a law allowing abortion up until birth, at the same time revoking medical care for babies who are born alive after botched abortions. In Illinois, a bill creating a "fundamental right" to abortion, clearing the way for late-term procedures, passed the Illinois house and now goes to the Senate.  However, bills expanding abortion rights in Virginia, New Mexico and Rhode Island have been defeated.

    At the same time, miracles are occurring in other states.  Georgia, Mississippi, Ohio, Kentucky and Louisiana passed bills this year that ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which occurs around the sixth week of pregnancy.  Missouri passed a bill banning abortion on or beyond the eighth week of pregnancy.   Finally, Alabama passed a bill that makes it a felony for a doctor to perform or attempt an abortion during any stage of pregnancy with limited exceptions.

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  • Respect Life /2020 Cross Project

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  • 2020 Diocese of Trenton Respect Life
    Poster, Essay & Photo-Meme Contest

    Congratulations to the Winners from
    Saint Leo the Great Parish / School

    Diocesan-wide 1st Place -and- Monmouth County
    Runner-Up Awardees Announced!

    This year’s theme was

    “Christ Our Hope – In Every Season of Life”

    Awardee for the Poster contest:
    Grades 6-8  Diocesan-wide 1st Place:
    Juliann Dietrich (Grade 6), Saint Leo the Great Parish
    Awardee for the Essay contest:
    Grade 3-5  Monmouth County 1st Runner-up:
    Vincent Sorsaia (Grade 5), Saint Leo the Great School
    Grade 6-8  Monmouth County 1st Runner-up:
    Cathleen Dietrich (Grade 6), Saint Leo the Great School
    Winner for the Photo-Meme Contest
    Grade 6-8  Diocesan-wide 1st Place:
    Kailyn Lehan (Grade 6) Saint Leo the Great Parish

  • Respect Life Cross Project 2019

    The Knights of Columbus completed a Respect Life Cross Project along our property on Newman Springs Road.  Each white cross represents 1 million children who have died since abortion became legal in 1973. 60 crosses were planted and represent 60 million babies lost since 1973. This is a visual reminder to pray for the protection of human life in all of its stages. Our Ignite Youth Group helped the Knights of Columbus paint and plant the crosses.

    “We enjoyed having the youth group assist. If we have any other projects in the future, we would very much like to work with the young men and women of Ignite again” said Douglas Walsh, Grand Knight.   

    The teens recited the rosary with our Knights of Columbus, Parishioners and members of neighboring Parishes from Saint May’s in Colts Neck, Saint Anselm in Tinton Falls and Saint Gabriel in Marlboro.  This was done by the 60 crosses on our property.  During the month of October, the crosses were a visual representation of the 60 million babies who have lost their lives due to abortion since it was legalized in 1973.