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By Fr. James Heithoff
St. Patricks Catholic Church 

Respect Life


It doesn’t seem possible that one month of 2015 is already behind us. The beginning of a new year always seems to begin with a note of excitement as we ponder what the year before us might have in store.

However, the excitement always becomes tempered as we arrive at Jan. 22. This is the date in 1973 when abortion became legalized in this country with the Supreme Court decision of Roe vs. Wade. This decision legalized abortion in this country.

The Christian tradition teaches us that all of human life is sacred and deserves protection. Human life is created in the image and likeness of God and is thereby sacred. I would share with you the following story which I hope would inspire all of us to protect and defend human life:

There was a commotion at one of the bridges in a small town. There were lots of people looking at the river. There was a boy who was drowning. All of a sudden, a man jumped into the water and saved the boy. After saving the boy, the man ran to where he jumped and shouted at the people, “Who pushed me?” When the boy recovered from the shocking experience, he approached the man and said, “THANK YOU, SIR, FOR SAVING MY LIFE!” The man looked into the boy’s eyes and replied, “THAT’S OKAY, SON, YOUR LIFE IS WORTH SAVING!”

Indeed, every life is worth saving. Each of us are created in God’s image and hopefully, we don’t have to be pushed into saving one another. We especially need to reverence the unborn as they are the most defenseless and innocent of God’s people.

Each year approximately 1.3 million abortions take place, and thousands of them are done in the sixth month of pregnancy. What is always needed is a sincere awareness of who we are: We are God’s children, all of us, created in His image and likeness. With this awareness, may we be pushed and inspired to respect all that God has created – most especially human life and the unborn.

When we truly respect life in our community and country then we can begin to be excited about a new year. We can be a people, not focused on death, but life.

Fr. James Heithoff

St. Patrick’s Catholic Church


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