Read: The Gospel of Life @ 25

Just over a quarter of a century ago, Pope Saint John Paul II released his prophetic encyclical, Evangelium vitae, in response to the ever-increasing attacks against human life and dignity.

“Over the next 12 months, the Diocese of Lansing, will be releasing a weekly teaching or reflection on this important encyclical so that the faithful may grow in their understanding of the Church's teaching on matters of life and human dignity – we hope you will join us,” said Jenny Ingles, Director of Fertility and Life Ministries for the Diocese of Lansing, January 22, the Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children.

Evangelium vitae, translated in English to “The Gospel of Life”, was promulgated in Rome on 25 March 1995 by Pope John Paul II. It deals with issues pertaining to the sanctity of human life, including murder, abortion, euthanasia, and capital punishment, reaffirming the Church's timeless teachings on those issues in a way that is relevant to this day.

The document gave greater foundation and focus to what a “Culture of Life” should look like and, by contrast, greater understanding as to what underpins the contemporary “Culture of Death” which continues to hold sway over much of the western world.

The United States’ Conference of Catholic Bishops had designated 2020 as the year to begin celebrating the 25th anniversary of Evangelium vitae but, as with many things, COVID-19 got in the way.

Hence the beginning of this new series today upon this Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children. Next installment? Next Friday. Until then, God bless you.