The Culture of Life Update is now in it's FIFTH YEAR of publication!

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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

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Appeals in Hobby Lobby,
Conestoga HHS Cases

(NCRegister.com) - The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear appeals in two legal challenges to the Health and Human Services' mandate that ask the justices to decide whether constitutional and statutory protections for religious freedom apply to businesses.

On Nov. 26, the high court said it would hear appeals in lawsuits filed by two Christian families, the Green family, Christian owners of Hobby Lobby, a large craft-store chain, and the Hahn family, the Mennonite owners of Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., a Pennsylvania company that makes cabinets.

Both families argue that that the HHS mandate, which requires virtually all private employers to provide co-pay-free contraception, including abortion-inducing drugs, in their employee health insurance forces them to cover services that violate their religious beliefs. MORE


News Briefs


Christian Comics

For Your Marriage

Life Issues Forum

Respect Life Program

Great Quotes




US bishops' new leaders commit to protecting human dignity

(CNA/EWTN News).- The incoming leaders of the U.S. bishops’ conference voiced a commitment to reaching out in love to defend human life and dignity wherever it is threatened in the modern culture. “We’re responding to where the need is,” said Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., the president-elect of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. At a Nov. 12 press conference during the U.S. bishops’ annual fall gathering in Baltimore, he emphasized that the bishops must respond to “what is going on in our culture,” and where the needs and energies of the Church are at a given moment in time. The archbishop responded to an earlier message delivered on behalf of the Pope by papal nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, which he characterized as “primarily a call to be pastoral.” MORE

A Fresh Look at Divorce Statistics: Signs of Hope and Concern

(For Your Marriage) – For years, the statistic that 50% of marriages end in divorce has been acknowledged as a common fact.  These statistics, particularly as they relate to Catholics, are being challenged by a Catholic research center. The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University, a non-profit research center dedicated to conducting social scientific research about the Catholic Church, recently released a new analysis of statistics about the number of Catholics who have divorced. CARA reports that the 1-in-2 number reported so widely is sloppily calculated by dividing the number of divorces per year by the number of marriages per year.  In 2011, there were 3.6 new divorces per 1,000 and 6.8 marriages per 1,000.  The calculated rate of divorce for 2011 using this method would be 53%. MORE

US bishops' president: Pope calls us to 'see the person first' >>

Doctor Warns That HHS Mandate Puts Religious Identity at Risk >>

Pope Francis Backs Male Priesthood, Urges ‘Feminine Genius’ in the Church >>

‘Game changer’: study finds increased risk of breast cancer after abortion in Chinese women >>

Pope Francis’ Exhortation Praised as a Guide to Christian Outreach >>

Pennsylvania Shuts Down Late-Term Abortion Center in Philadelphia >>

Fathers of Aborted Babies Experience Devastating Pain and Regret >>

47 Abortion Clinics Have Closed in 2013, 72% Have Closed Since 1991 >>

Five Things Planned Parenthood Won’t Disclose in its Annual Report >>

There is no such thing as a “humane” late abortion… >>

Principal Had Planned Parenthood Take Over Class, Wants Teacher Fired for Refusing >>

'Evangelii Gaudium': Church’s Teaching on Abortion Cannot Change

(NCRegister.com) — In his first apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), Pope Francis explained that the Church can never change its teaching on abortion, which is part of a broader understanding of human dignity. At the same time, he said in the document released Nov. 26, the Church must increase efforts to “accompany” women in difficult pregnancies. “Precisely because this involves the internal consistency of our message about the value of the human person, the Church cannot be expected to change her position on this question,” the Pope said of abortion. “I want to be completely honest in this regard,” he said. “This is not something subject to alleged reforms or ‘modernizations.’" MORE

US bishops to address 'pervasive' challenges of pornography

(CNA/EWTN News).- The U.S. bishops have overwhelmingly approved the creation of a statement on pornography to address the “serious pastoral challenges” and consequences that it poses on a spiritual, social and personal level. “Pornography comes in many forms but leaves its effects on all those exploited by or exposed to it. It is a great temptation that ravages men, women and children,” Bishop Richard J. Malone, chairman-elect of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, told the bishops’ fall assembly Nov. 12. “The number of men, women and children who have been harmed by pornography use is not negligible, and we have an opportunity to offer healing and hope to those who have been wounded.” MORE

Project Rachel Founder ‘Delighted’ With New ’Bishops’ Staff Position

(NCRegister.com) — The founder of Project Rachel says she is extremely pleased by the U.S. bishops’ decision to create a full-time staff position to work with the post-abortion healing ministry. “To oversee the ministry and keep on top of things that need to be done, you really need a full-time person,” Vicki Thorn told CNA. “I’m just delighted that they’re going to have one.” “This is an important ministry of the Church,” she said, “and it is really key to the evangelization of our times.” Thorn founded Project Rachel in 1984 as a healing ministry for those who have suffered the devastating consequences of abortion. The program is present in the majority of Catholic dioceses in the United States. MORE

Late-Term Abortions are Okay But Animal Cruelty Isn’t? 

(LifeNews.com) – The same day that voters in Albuquerque, New Mexico refused to limit abortions to 20 weeks of pregnancy unless a mother’s life was in danger, a woman and her son in Bernalilo County, New Mexico,were arrested and are facing charges for extreme animal cruelty for putting their puppy in a plastic bag in order to photograph the size of the puppy. The puppy incident created a firestorm from the media and the general public.  The puppy is alive and well, but granted, this mother did a stupid and regretful thing.  But where is the firestorm on behalf of the babies whoa are literally and painfully torn apart, limb by limb, in the process of later term abortions? MORE

Rise in IVF Popularity Leaves Thousands of Unborn Babies in Limbo

(LifeNews.com) – The fertility industry has been helpful to parents who are having trouble having a baby, but the pro-life community has long been concerned about the fallout: thousands, perhaps millions of human embryos — unique human beings — who are frozen on ice. What will happen to those unborn children? World Magazine takes a look at this very serious question: More women are using donated eggs for in vitro fertilization (IVF) and more healthy babies are being born through the process, according to a study released in October. While this is good news, the process also creates more embryos than can be implanted, leaving hundreds of thousands of frozen embryos in fertility clinics. MORE

Janitor at Nursing Home Saves Patients From Dying After Staff Abandons Them

(LifeNews.com) - I heard an amazing Good Samaritan story the other day. And there’s a reason I think you should hear it, too. If you hear the name “Miguel Alvarez,” what goes through your mind? Well, if you’ve ever seen the HBO television series “Oz,” you might think of a character with that name who was in a maximum security prison for assaulting an old man who accidentally scratched his car. But thanks to a story I read online recently, I think about a far different kind of man. This Miguel Alvarez was in a kind of a facility, but it wasn’t a prison, and he was there willingly. This Miguel Alvarez is a 33-year-old father who took a job as a janitor at the Valley Springs Manor Nursing Home in Castro Valley, California. MORE



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Used according to permission guidelines.

The Family in Service of Life: An Adoption Story
By Robert and Robin Laird

We were married on June 7, 1997.  Three months later, we moved into our first home, an 1800 square foot historic house in Staunton, Virginia, a city of about 25,000 located in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley.  It had four bedrooms – perfect for our plans of beginning a family.  Rob was working as a youth minister and part-time high school teacher and Robin was the second grade teacher in the same Catholic school as Rob.  MORE


Copyright © 2013, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
All rights reserved.


Facebook and Our Intrinsic Worth

By Deirdre A. McQuade


Whether or not you use Facebook, you probably know that it works on a popularity basis. The more something is “liked,” the more attention it gains. This happens not only by simple word-of-mouth multiplication (she told two friends, who told two friends, and so on, and so on), but also by sophisticated formulas used to promote popular posts and let less popular ones recede from view.

When a cute picture, heart-wrenching story, or urgent cry for help gains momentum, those who pass it along to their network can feel like they are part of a mini-movement helping to make something obscure into something important. When a story spreads to a huge audience overnight, it has “gone viral” (think of an epidemic flu virus). It’s almost the definition of an important story in the media these days: the more a story is followed, the more significant it is. When an important event occurs quietly and is overlooked, however, then its value can seem questionable to us as consumers of the media. MORE


Life Matters:  Roe Plus 40 (en español)

Erika Bachiochi, Esq. breaks down what has been learned about abortion in the 40 years since the Roe v. Wade decision.

Pamphlet: English / en español

Bulletin Inserts: English / en español  

Text Only: English / en español

Order: English / en español



“By the anxieties and worries of this life Satan tries to dull man's heart and make a dwelling for himself there.” (St. Francis of Assisi)


‎"I strongly suspect that if we saw all the difference even the tiniest of our prayers to God make, and all the people those little prayers were destined to affect, and all the consequences of those effects down through the centuries, we would be so paralyzed with awe at the power of prayer that we would be unable to get up off our knees for the rest of our lives." (Peter Kreeft)

“God calls you to make definitive choices, and He has a plan for each of you: to discover that plan and to respond to your vocation is to move toward personal fulfilment.” (Pope Francis)


“But there is another form of poverty! It is the spiritual poverty of our time, which afflicts the so-called richer countries particularly seriously. It is what my much-loved predecessor, Benedict XVI, called the "tyranny of relativism", which makes everyone his own criterion and endangers the coexistence of peoples.” (Pope Francis)


“Francis of Assisi tells us we should work to build peace. But there is no true peace without truth! There cannot be true peace if everyone is his own criterion, if everyone can always claim exclusively his own rights, without at the same time caring for the good of others, of everyone, on the basis of the nature that unites every human being on this earth.” (Pope Francis)




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.


Family Honor, Inc.  Rooted in Blessed John Paul II's Theology of the Body, Family Honor seeks to empower 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 Culture of Life Update is a monthly email newsletter of the Culture of Life Ministry of St. Mary Parish 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!

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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.