NOVENA FOR LIFE – Please join the entire American Catholic Church in our Novena for Life from January 16 to January 24. If you are at Mass you can join us in our Novena prayer every day. You can also join us through the prayers at this link:

About Our Respect Life Committee

The Respect Life Committee invites persons who are willing to help organize programs that continue to respect life from conception to natural death. We usually meet on the third Monday of each month at 7 PM from September through May in the St. Celestine Pastoral Center – Fireside Room. We alternate meetings between the two churches.

NEXT MEETING – September 16, 2024

You can also join us virtually via zoom:

  • Topic – St. MTG Respect Life
  • Time – September 16, 2024 – 7:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
  • Join Zoom Meeting – CLICK HERE
  • Meeting ID – 738 6321 9013
  • Passcode – 6z7wLQ

The Committee is a great way to spread the Gospel of Life in the parish and community. We provide a number of volunteer opportunities throughout the year and raise awareness about issues from abortion to euthanasia to opioid addiction and domestic violence. Please join us!

The purpose of this committee is to promote activities and articles to help understand issues dealing with respecting life. We encourage all in the parish to understand and practice the following: “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.”

Among our activities:

  • The living rosary in church in October and January with each bead represented by a person.
  • Rosary services in the chapel with respect life themes.
  • Baby showers.
  • Socks for the Night Ministry.
  • Letters to the President for pro-life causes.
  • A pro-life intercession in the bulletin each week.
  • Pamphlets relating to pro-life topics in the church vestibules.
  • Money for the Women’s Center with our baby bottle coin project. The Women’s Centers are committed to saving babies from death by abortion and their mothers from a lifetime of regret. They help women get to a place of self respect, support, confidence, and forgiveness.

If you are interested or would like more information please contact Paul Fairbanks at

Looking for Committee Members

The Respect Life Committee needs new members. We are looking for compassionate people who care about the fate of others. Does this describe you? We do things like baby bottle drives to help raise funds for new mothers who cannot help their babies as much as they’d like on their own. We watch movies about sensitive subjects like suicide, abortion, and other right to life subjects. We discuss them and see if we can relate them to our parish members. We sponsor the Blue Mass and raffle quilts to raise funds for groups who need our help. Can you see yourself being a part of this? If so, please contact Paul Fairbanks at

Respect Life Resources

Top Reasons to Oppose Assisted Suicide

No psychiatric evaluation or treatment is required; patients with depression qualify for assisted suicide.

  • Despite medical literature showing that nearly 95 percent of those who commit suicide had a diagnosable psychiatric illness (usually treatable depression) in the months preceding suicide, the prescribing doctor and the doctor he or she selects to give a second opinion are both free to decide whether to refer suicidal patients for any psychological evaluation. Per Oregon’s official annual report, from 20130-2016 less than 4% of patients who died under its assisted suicide law had been referred for evaluations to check for “impaired judgment.”
  • If an evaluation is provided to suicidal patients, its goal is not to treat the underlying psychopathology, but to determine that the patient is not suffering from “a psychiatric or psychological disorder or depression causing impaired judgment.” The doctors or counselor can decide that, since depression is “a completely normal response” to terminal illness, the depressed patient’s judgment is not impaired.
  • Assisted suicide laws place lethal drugs in patients’ hands to be administered at a time of their choosing, making it impossible to determine whether their judgment is impaired when the actual decision for suicide is made and the drugs are taken. Assisted suicide threatens improved palliative care.
  • There is compelling evidence that legalizing assisted suicide undermines efforts to maintain and improve good care for patients nearing the end of life, including patients who never wanted assisted suicide.
  • Vermont legalized physician–assisted suicide in 2013. In 2015, the state’s Visiting Nurse Association announced it is conducting a study to discover why the state has “the third lowest hospice utilization rate in the nation.”

Terminal illness defined dangerously broad; predictions of life expectancy are notoriously inaccurate.

  • Assisted suicide laws typically appear to limit eligibility to terminally ill patients who are expected to die within six months but don’t distinguish between persons who will die within six months with treatment and those who will die within six months without treatment. This means patients with treatable diseases like diabetes and disabilities requiring ventilator support are eligible for lethal drugs since they would die within six months without treatment. Diagnosis of terminal illness and predictions of life expectancy are notoriously inaccurate.
  • According to official data collected by Oregon’s health department, lethal drugs have already been given to Oregon patients with less predictable conditions like chronic respiratory or cardiac disease and even “benign and uncertain” tumors.

Untreated pain is not among the top reasons cited for taking lethal drugs.

  • According to official annual reports, in 2016, 90% of Oregon patients seeking lethal drugs said they were “less able to engage in activities making life enjoyable” and were “losing autonomy,” and 49% cited being a “burden” on family, friends or caregivers. In Washington, 52% cited being a “burden.” In both states concern about pain was cited as the second to last reason for seeking lethal drugs (35%).

Definition of self-administration opens door to euthanasia.

  • Can others take an active role in ending the patient’s life? Oregon law speaks of the patient as ingesting” medication to end his or her life. Washington law says patients will “self-administer” the drugs, but defines “self-administer” to mean “ingesting.”But “ingesting” ordinarily means absorbing or swallowing; so this does not seem to bar others from administering the drugs. If such action is in accord with the Act, it may not be treated as a homicide.

Assisted suicide invites coercion putting vulnerable persons at risk of abuse.

  • Once lethal drugs have been prescribed, assisted suicide laws have no requirements for assessing the patient’s consent, competency, or voluntariness. Who would know if the drugs are freely taken since there is no supervision or tracking of the drugs once they leave the pharmacy and since no witnesses are required at the time of death?
  • Elder abuse is considered a major health problem in the United States with federal estimates that one in ten elder persons are abused. 5 Placing lethal drugs into the hands of abusers generates an additional major risk to elderly persons.
  • Despite a reporting system designed to conceal rather than detect abuses, reports of undue influence have nonetheless surfaced in Oregon. In one case, a woman with cancer committed suicide with a doctor’s assistance though she had dementia, was found mentally incompetent by doctors, and had a grown daughter described as “somewhat coercive” in pushing her toward suicide.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court has also recognized “the real risk of subtle coercion and undue influence” that assisted suicide poses. The justices heeded the warning of the New York Task Force that “[l]egalizing physician–assisted suicide would pose profound risks to many individuals who are ill and vulnerable… The risk of harm is greatest for the many individuals in our society whose autonomy and well–being are already compromised by poverty, lack of access to good medical care, advanced age, or membership in a stigmatized social group.”
  • An heir to the patient’s estate or friends of the heir can encourage or pressure the patient to request lethal drugs and then be a witness to the request. Generally, assisted suicide laws allow one of the two witnesses to be an heir.

Assisted suicide is a deadly mix with our profit-driven health care system.

  • Some patients in Oregon have received word from the Oregon Health Plan that it will pay for assisted suicide but will not pay for treatment that may sustain their lives.
  • Patients enrolled in private health plans are meeting with similar discrimination and pressure to commit suicide. One patient in California was told by her insurance company that it would not pay for her life–extending treatment but that she “would only have to pay $1.20” for drugs to commit suicide.
  • Nevada physician Dr. Brian Callister testifies that when he tried to transfer patients to their home states of Oregon and California for treatments not available in his state, insurers in both states rejected his effort and instead volunteered, “would you consider assisted suicide?” Dr. Callister says both patients had good chances for a cure with treatment but will be terminal without it.
  • One well–known advocate of assisted suicide has written openly of the unacceptable “burden” of caring for elderly Americans, declaring that “in the final analysis, economics, not the quest for broadened individual liberties or increased autonomy, will drive assisted suicide to the plateau of acceptable practice.”

From the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities United States Conference of Catholic Bishops –

The Church’s Opposition to Assisted Suicide Legislation in Our State

The Respect Life Committee of St. Mother Theodore Guerin Parish strongly feels we need to inform and gain support from fellow parishioners about the “End of Life Option Act”, also known as assisted suicide. This act (SB3499) has been introduced to Illinois in 2024 and seeks to gain strength by voters in the future.

Over the next several weeks you can find information about Church teaching regarding suicide in this bulletin. The Church has always been opposed to suicide. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “We are obliged to accept life gratefully and preserve it for God’s honor and the salvation of our souls. We are stewards, not owners of the life God has entrusted to us. It is not ours to dispose of.” 2280

“Suicide is contrary to love for the living God. If suicide is committed with the intention of setting an example, especially to the young, it also takes on the gravity of scandal. Voluntary cooperation in suicide is contrary to the moral law.” 2281-2282

“The Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives.” 2283

Pope Francis has condemned laws which promote assisted suicide. While it is important that we treat those who suffer with chronic pain with dignity and attempt to ameliorate their suffering, “We have to be careful to not confuse this help with unacceptable deviations that lead to killing,” he said. “We must accompany death, not provoke death or help any kind of suicide.”

The law introduced in the legislature in Springfield contradicts the dignity of human life and the Church’s mission to help all people live life to its fullest. As Catholics we must choose and support life, and therefore must oppose any law which promotes and enables suicide.