A variety of news sources are available to keep informed about issues related to life, marriage and the family. 

The following websites may be of interest to you:

Life Site News

Life News

National Catholic Register

Catholic News Agency

National Right to Life

Marriage In the News (from For Your Marriage)

National Organization for Marriage

Heroic News

Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute

Family Honor


Family Research Council
OCTOBER 2014 | VOLUME 6.10

Synod's Final Message Affirms Uniqueness, Indissolubility and Endurance of Conjugal Love


(NCRegister.com) — In their message to the faithful, the synod fathers praised the life-giving love between a man and a woman, which, despite many challenges, endures through the grace given by God in the sacrament of marriage.

“Such love, of its nature, strives to be forever to the point of laying down one’s life for the beloved. In this light, conjugal love, which is unique and indissoluble, endures despite many difficulties,” the Oct. 18 message read. This love, it continued, “is one of the most beautiful of all miracles and the most common.”

Synod fathers for the Third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family released their message to the people of God following almost two weeks of intense discussion on marriage and family life. Meetings began on Oct. 5 and conclude Sunday, Oct. 19, with the beatification of Paul VI, which will be presided over by Pope Francis and attended by Benedict XVI.

The synod’s message comes in the wake of the publication of the meeting’s controversial midterm report last weekend. The midterm report garnered from many bishops a call for the clarification of numerous phrases, as well as the shedding of a more positive light on the family and a greater reference to Scripture. The synod’s final document is expected to be released Sunday.



News Briefs


For Your Marriage

Life Issues Forum

Respect Life Program

Great Quotes



FREE Webinar on St. John Paul II's
of the Body.

Click here for details.


‘Tireless Apostle’ Paul VI Beatified

(NCRegister.com) — Pope Paul VI was a “courageous Christian,” a “tireless apostle” and the “great helmsman” of the Second Vatican Council, Pope Francis said in his homily at Paul’s beatification Mass on Sunday, Oct. 19. The Holy Father gave thanks for the life of Paul VI at the Mass, attended by some 70,000 faithful who had gathered in unseasonably warm weather in St. Peter’s Square. As the former pope was declared blessed, a tapestry portrait was unveiled on the façade of St. Peter’s Basilica. Also present at the ceremony was Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, whom Paul VI appointed as archbishop of Munich and Freising, Germany, in 1977. Pope Francis and his predecessor warmly embraced and briefly exchanged a few words. “When we look to this great pope, this courageous Christian, this tireless apostle, we cannot but say in the sight of God a word as simple as it is heartfelt and important: thank you,” Francis said. “Thank you, our dear and beloved Pope Paul VI! Thank you for your humble and prophetic witness of love for Christ and his Church.” MORE

Judges overturn marriage protection amendments in Arizona, Alaska, and Wyoming

(LifeSiteNews.com) – Friday was a rough day for supporters of true marriage in Arizona, Alaska, and Wyoming, as all three states saw their marriage protection laws struck down by activist judges in the wake of the Supreme Court’s refusal to review similar decisions by federal courts around the country. In Arizona, U.S. District Judge John Sedwick ruled that the state’s marriage protection law violated the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution by defining marriage as a union exclusively between a man and a woman, and excluding homosexual couples. While state Attorney General Tom Horne said he personally disagreed with the ruling, he said any attempt at appeal would be a dead end, since the liberal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has already ruled in favor of legalizing same-sex “marriage,” and the Supreme Court has repeatedly refused to review similar decisions. MORE

Hundreds of thousands join march in Paris supporting natural family >>

Synod Surprise >>

St. John Paul II’s Inaugural Feast >>

Cultivating Encounter With Jesus Christ In Parishes >>

Church teaching on sexuality is simple, but not easy >>

Marriage Formation Can’t Stop at The Wedding, Says Catholic Couple >>

For synod auditors, God's plan for marriage best taught by living it out >>

New Jersey sister first to be beatified on US soil >>

Father Check from Courage Responds to Synod Report  >>

Opportunities Lost: A Synod Wrap-up >>

The Courage of Pope Paul VI  >>

Synod’s Final Report Shows Nuance on Divorce, Homosexuality >>

Why is Virginia Allowing Abortion Clinics to Break the Law? >>

Media Trips Over Itself to Extol 29-Year-Old Woman Who Plans to Kill Herself >>

Marriage and family issues facing Catholics are not all universal >>

Pope Francis' closing synod speech received with standing ovation >>

Back to Basics: A Summary of the Teaching of the Catechism on Holy Matrimony >>

Woman told to abort ‘or you and your baby will die’ gives birth to now-healthy boy >>

Cardinal Pell: After ‘tendentious and incomplete’ Synod report, Church must reaffirm doctrine >>

Pondering ‘gradualism’ and the controversial Synod ‘midterm’ report >>

IUDs for teens? Endangering, not empowering, docs say >>

'Why Kids Sext' Describes Nude Photos As 'Social Currency' Among Teens >>

Resist 'hidden euthanasia' of elderly, Little Sisters stress  >>

199 Babies Spared From Abortion So Far During 40 Days for Life Campaign

(LifeNews.com) – We are at the halfway point! Have you participated in the 40 Days for Life campaign yet? If not … there is plenty of time. And here’s some motivation.  Halfway through these 40 days of prayer and fasting, we are aware of 199 babies whose mothers chose life at the very last moment! Here are the stories of just a few of those babies. DALLAS, TEXAS: Volunteers in Dallas say they have “two jubilant reports” from the sidewalk outside the Planned Parenthood abortion mega-center where the 40 Days for Life vigil is going on. In one instance, the vigil participants were able to talk to a woman who “just needed someone to help” … and she quickly learned that the help she really needed was not available at Planned Parenthood. One of the volunteers says it brought tears to her eyes when the woman chose life for her child. A second woman stopped her car near Planned Parenthood when she saw someone with a sign that said “Pregnant? Need help?” MORE

Christian ministers told to perform gay 'weddings' or face jail time

(EWTN News/CNA) Two Christian ministers in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, could face legal punishment or be forced to sell their nearly 100-year-old wedding chapel for declining to perform same-sex “wedding” ceremonies. “Many have denied that pastors would ever be forced to perform ceremonies that are completely at odds with their faith, but that’s what is happening here – and it’s happened this quickly,” Jeremy Tedesco, senior legal counsel with the legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, said Oct. 18. “The government should not force ordained ministers to act contrary to their faith under threat of jail time and criminal fines,” he said. “The city cannot erase these fundamental freedoms and replace them with government coercion and intolerance.” Tedesco responded to the changing legal climate in Idaho, which is threatening the work of David and Evelyn Knapp, ordained ministers of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel. MORE

Supreme Court halts parts of Texas abortion law, but it's not over yet

(CNA/EWTN News).- Backers of a 2013 Texas law which strengthened health and safety requirements for the state's abortion clinics will continue to support the law as it winds through the court system, following a temporary block of some portions of the law. The Supreme Court temporarily blocked parts of the law on Tuesday, while the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals considers an appeal regarding the statute. A key part of the state law that was blocked required all abortion clinics to upgrade to surgical facility standards, and until now it had closed all but eight abortion clinics in Texas. The Supreme Court also allowed two clinics a temporary exemption from the part of the law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. MORE

Spousal Benefits for Same-Sex Partners at Catholics Universities and Hospitals

(NCRegister.com) — Early this month, the University of Notre Dame confirmed that it would provide spousal benefits to “legally married same-sex spouses.” “On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear appeals from decisions striking down bans on same-sex marriage in several states, including Indiana,” read an Oct. 8 email notice from the university’s Office of Human Resources. “This means that the law in Indiana now recognizes same-sex marriages, and the university will extend benefits to all legally married spouses, including same-sex spouses.” The news shocked some Notre Dame faculty and alumni, but “Our Lady’s University” is among a growing number of Church-affiliated institutions...MORE

Woman Makes Medical History as First to Give Birth After Womb Transplant

(LifeNews.com) - In September, a Swedish woman made medical history when she gave birth to her first child through birth by womb transplant. The 36-year-old mother, who chose not to disclose her identity, found out that she didn’t have a womb when she was 15-years old; however, she did have functioning ovaries. Nearly a decade later she discovered that Dr. Mats Brannstrom, a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Gothenburg and Stockholm, was conducting womb transplant research. The woman decided she wanted a womb transplant and a friend donated hers after completing menopause several years earlier. Although her baby boy was born at 32 weeks, he was healthy and discharged from the hospital 10 days after his birth. The parents named him Vincent, which means ‘to conquer.’ NewsWeek shares more: Surgeons said it had taken over ten years of surgical training and research on animals for the procedure to be viable. MORE

Amazing Letter Tells 29-Year-Old With Brain Cancer Planning to Kill Herself to Reconsider

(LifeNews.com) - Brittany Maynard has received worldwide attention after revealing she plans to kill herself on November 1. The 29-year-old terminally ill patient plans to take the lethal pill to end her own life. After suffering from severe headaches, Brittany Maynard found out she had stage II glioblastoma multiforme and had up to ten years to live. However, after she had surgery, doctors found out that she had the most deadly form of brain cancer, stage IV glioblastoma multiforme. The cancer usually kills its victims in a matter of months. After her diagnosis, Brittany decided that she wanted to move from her California home to Oregon so that she could have access to the “death with dignity” prescription. She plans to die in her home surrounded by her mother, stepfather, husband and best friend. But, now, in an amazing letter, a woman with a similiar diagnosies has written a touching letter in response. MORE



A Bittersweet Bucket List

By Deirdre A. McQuade

Usually when people say that a goal is on their “bucket list” it means that sometime in the as-yet-unplanned, perhaps even distant, future, they’ll hopefully get around to doing something they always wanted to do before they die: memory-making, picture-taking adventures like hang-gliding, traveling to an exotic land, or even writing one’s first novel.

But today I learned about a very different bucket list...MORE

Copyright © 2014, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

All rights reserved.

You Are a Masterpiece

By Anne McGuire

The U.S. bishops set aside October as Respect Life Month, kicking off the year-long Respect Life Program, celebrated with special Masses, liturgies, Holy Hours and other initiatives and events. The bishops call upon Catholics and all people of goodwill across the nation to reflect on the sanctity of all human life and to work toward its protection.

This year’s theme is “Each of us is a masterpiece of God’s creation,” adapted from Pope Francis’ 2013 Day for Life greeting. This year’s Respect Life Program flyer explores the idea that each of us is a treasured work of art made by God’s hands... MORE

Copyright © 2014, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
All rights reserved.

Feature Article from the 2014-2015 Program:

An Adoption Love Story

Pamphlet: English / en español

Bulletin Inserts: English / en español

Text-only: English / en español


“What the New Evangelization aims at is not so much a defense of the faith, although at times that is needed, but rather a confident and joyful witness to the faith, based on our belief in the victory of the Cross. Because of the victory of the Lord Jesus over sin and death, we have no uncertainty about the power of the Holy Spirit, here and now, to renew the face of the earth.” (Bishop Thomas Olmsted)

“The essence of Christianity is not an idea but a Person.”  (Pope Benedict XVI)

“The family is the most ancient institution which God founded in Paradise, when He called the first pair of human beings into existence. The first blessing which God gave was for the wellbeing of the family. With family life, the history of the world commences.” (St. John Vianney)

At stake is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother and children. At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance, and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God. At stake is the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts.” (Pope Francis)

Marriage is the most basic expression of the vocation to love that all men and women have as persons made in God’s image.” (Christopher West)

FHFamily Honor, Inc. 

Rooted in Saint John Paul II's Theology of the Body, Family Honor seeks to is the premiere ministry for empower and equipping parents to educate and guide their children according to God's plan. 

Family Honor offers a variety of programs and resources for parents, as well as programs for parents and teens together.  Learn more from their website. 


The Third Way is a powerful video that seeks to bring together the truth of the Church's doctrine regarding homosexuality and the command of Christ to love one another. 

Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia has stated: "'The Third Way' is an exceptional film: a brief, articulate, deeply moving portrait of faithful Catholics living with same sex attraction. Anyone seeking to understand the human realities involved in a very difficult issue needs to see it." See it for yourself here.

UNFILTERED: Equipping Parents for an Ongoing Conversation about Internet Pornography

Covenant Eyes offers a great resource kit to help parents to protect their children from ever-growing saturation of pornography. They also offer an excellent video introduction on their website.

My House Columbus
is a non-pr
ofit lay apostolate working to promote sexual integrity through pornography prevention family protection, theology of the body information and resources, and accountability and healing networks. My House Columbus is a collaborative effort between Columbus Catholic Men’s Ministry, Columbus Catholic Women’s Ministry, and the Diocese of Columbus. My House offers three aspects: Protection, Healing, and Prevention. Learn more from their website.


Catholic Pulse is a service of the Knights of Columbus dedicated to bringing readers the top, daily headlines that Catholics need to know. We seek to present the news from the perspective of Catholics who want to know what’s happening in the Church, nation and world around them. From election coverage and breakthroughs in science, to breaking news and opinions around the globe, Catholic Pulse is the one-stop site that serves up those headlines quickly while providing further resources on social issues that are important to Catholics, such as the sanctity of life and marriage.  Learn more on their website.

 NCBCLooking for Catholic Bio-medical Ethics Information?  FREE consultations are available from the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC).  Established in 1972, NCBC conducts research, consultation, publishing and education to promote human dignity in health care and the life sciences, and derives its message directly from the teachings of the Catholic Church. According to their website, they guarantee that a credentialed ethicist will be available 24/7 to assist any person with those most difficult moral health care decisions one must make from the beginning to the end of life. In 2012 alone, the ethicists of the Center helped over 1500 individuals in their time of need; free of charge. Read more about them on their website.

CPYUThe Center for Parent/Youth Understanding is a nonprofit organization committed to building strong families by serving to bridge the cultural-generational gap between parents and teenagers. At a time when an already confusing youth culture is changing quickly, CPYU helps parents, youth workers, educators, and others understand teenagers and their culture so that they will be better equipped to help children and teens navigate the challenging world of adolescence.  They offer a free e-Update and many other resources.  Read more on their website.



The Culture of Life Update is a monthly email newsletter of the Culture of Life Ministry of St. Mary Basilica in Marietta, Ohio.  A key goal of the Culture of Life Ministry is to help people become better informed about life, marriage and family issues.

The sad reality is that many people simply are not aware of the attacks on life and the family.  Nor are they aware of the many positive actions that are being taken to defend life and build up the family. Here's where our monthly email newsletter can help.

Designed for busy people, the Culture of Life Update provides a once-a-month overview of news stories related to life, marriage and the family.  It's a great and easy way to get informed. For the current and past issues, please visit our website!

To unsubscribe from the Culture of Life Update, simply notify me
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE AND DISCLAIMER: The purpose of this newsletter is simply to inform the public about issues related to life, marriage, and the family. The inclusion of any article is not meant to be an endorsement of a particular author’s viewpoint, nor it is meant to be an endorsement of the organization providing the information. St. Mary Parish Culture of Life Ministry follows the teachings of the Catholic Church, and is subject to the authority of the hierarchy of the Church.