(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a message to Catholic Churches in the UK that marked the annual Day for Life on Sunday, dedicated to raising awareness about the value of human life at every stage and in every condition. The theme for this year’s event is ‘The Wonder of Human Life in Our Common Home’, clearly referencing Pope Francis’ encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ which was published one year ago.
To find out more about the event and about the way it’s being celebrated in parishes across the country, Philippa Hitchen spoke to Bishop John Sherrington, auxiliary of Westminster diocese, who deals with life issues for the Catholic bishops conference of England and Wales
Bishop Sherrington says the Day for Life 2016 is focused on the interconnectedness of life, from the dignity of the human person, created in the image and likeness of God, to the world around us.
Cards have been produced for every parish in the country telling the story of a man in an Indian village who is suffering from the effects of heat and drought, illustrating the connectedness between people and protection of the natural world. Other resources are available on the Day for Life website, including a reflection on a profoundly disabled woman who finds joy in nature and in the love of others.
Quoting from Pope John Paul’s words to artists in a letter written in 1999, Bishop Sherrington says the Church must encourage people to wonder at the sacredness of human life and the marvels of the universe. He says Pope Francis has sent a blessing in support of the work of the Day for Life initiative and he notes also the very encouraging words of the Pope at the recent Jubilee for the sick and disabled.
Finally Bishop Sherrington says that money raised during the Day for Life collections goes to support the Anscombe Bioethics Centre which works for the protection of life in the public sphere and offers funds to individuals such as expectant mothers in need of help to continue their pregnancies.