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Respect Life


The Respect Life Program of Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte exists to promote and protect human life through the sharing of relevant resources. We support and work alongside the USCCB Pro-Life Secretariat, Parish Groups and other Pro-Life organizations. Please find on this page Respect Life resources. We regularly update this page with timely and relevant information on Life Issues and Concerns in our diocese, in our state and in our country. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. Thank you for all you do for Life! 

  Respect Life Conference

Save the Date - September 16, 2017
9:30 AM – 4:30 PM
St. Barnabas Catholic Church, Arden NC
More information about the conference speakers and accommodations can be found here.

  • USCCB Pro-Life Resources
  • Respect Life Booklet
  • Advocacy for Life
  • Rachel's Vineyard Ministry
  • Upcoming Event Information
  • Pro-Life Web Resources
  • Essay Contest


To address the “slippery slope” of diminished respect for life found in the United States, the American bishops established the National Office of Respect Life more than 20 years ago.

The Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, under the guidance and direction of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities, works to teach respect for all human life from conception to natural death, and organize for its protection. 

Each year they produce an updated Respect Life Program Packet. To view more information on the current packet please click the image above. 


Pastoral Plan For Pro-Life Activities: A Campaign In Support Of Life

USCCB Respect Life Program

Program Catalog





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The Diocese of Charlotte Respect Life Resource Booklet, produced by the Respect Life Program of Catholic Charities is linked here. In this booklet, you will find many educational tools and useful resources to help start, grow and guide your Respect Life parish-based ministry. 
Feel free to print the PDF in English or Spanish by clicking on the corresponding images. 
This booklet will be updated on an annual basis at the start of each new year.  
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Public Policy

The Church urges Catholics to participate in political life.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us, "It is necessary that all participate, according to his position and role, in promoting the common good. This is inherent in the dignity of the human person ... As far as possible citizens should take an active part in public life" (see nos. 1913-1915).  Catholics are called to political involvement that is guided by moral principles, with the dignity of all human life from the moment of conception until natural death being the paramount principle from which all others flow.  The Church does not serve the interests of a particular party or interest group, but calls all people of good will to see the inherent value of human life, because we are all made in the image and likeness of God.  Once this is accepted as our grounding moral principle, we naturally will want to work to protect human life and nurture human life to fulfillment, which means working to meet the needs of those marginalized in society, and giving voice to those who lack a strong voice to protect their human rights and their well-being.

To help you stay informed and have a voice in public policy matters, Catholic Charities provides educational events and mailings in the Diocese of Charlotte. These resources are based on Catholic Social Teaching, and they often go along with campaigns and alerts from our bishop and other Catholic entities.

The mission of Catholic Charities is to be a ministry of “charity, service, and justice.”


Catholic Voice NC

The primary public policy and advocacy tool in the Diocese of Charlotte is Catholic Voice NC (CVNC), established by the Bishops of Charlotte and Raleigh in July 2008. CVNC offers North Carolina's Catholics an opportunity to have a greater voice in the political process, especially in state legislative matters under consideration by the General Assembly in Raleigh. Staff members provide advice to CVNC through participation on the CVNC Advisory Board.

Past alerts have focused on issues like the Racial Justice Act, a sex education bill, school violence protection, a “Choose Life” license plate, the marriage amendment, conscience protection, the Freedom of Choice Act, and health care reform.

To receive email advocacy alerts issued by CVNC and various national Catholic organizations, we encourage you to sign up at the links listed here.



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Forgiveness and Healing Following Abortion

Catholic Charities can help men and women who have experience abortion begin their healing journey. Rachel’s Vineyard Weekend Retreats creates a healing environment of prayer and forgiveness. The retreat works to reconnect individuals to themselves, their friends, and family and to realize God’s ever present love. 
Upcoming 2017 Retreats in the Diocese of Charlotte
October 20-22, 2017
Greensboro Area, NC
Please contact Jackie Childers for more retreat information
980-241-0251 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Click the link to our full flyer for 2017 Diocese of Charlotte retreats, as well as retreats in surrounding dioceses. 
In addition, Catholic Charities also offers counseling. Please contact our Counseling Program for appointments at 704-370-3217
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Please find information and flyers for upcoming Respect Life Events hosted by Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte.
Click the links to find more detailed information about these upcoming events.

More information about the September Respect Life Conference:

Update: There will be an optional opening morning mass at 8:30 AM at Saint Barnabas on September 16th. We know many people are traveling some distance to arrive so the official start time of the conference is 9:30 AM with registration available from 8:30-9:30 AM that morning.  


John S. Grabowski

Presenting on: Humanae vitae 50 Years Later: Prophecy and Prescription for our Culture 

A native of the Midwest, Dr. Grabowski earned his B.A. in theology at the University of Steubenville and his Ph.D. at Marquette University. For the last twenty five years he has

been on the faculty of the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. where he is currently Associate Professor of Moral Theology and the Director of the Moral Theology/ Ethics Area. He and his wife were appointed to the Pontifical Council for the Family by Pope Benedict XVI in the fall of 2009, where they have served as a member couple. He is also currently serving as a theological advisor to the U.S.C.C.B. Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family, and Youth. In 2015 he was appointed by Pope Francis to serve as an expert (adiutor) at the Synod of Bishops on the Family.

Dr. Grabowski has published widely in the areas of moral theology, marriage, sexuality, and bioethics. His articles have appeared in scholarly journals as Nova et Vetera, The Thomist, The Heythrop Journal, and the National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly as well as popular journals such as America, Commonweal, The Living Light, and Share the Word. His books include Sex and Virtue: An Introduction to Sexual Ethics (CUA Press, 2003) and Transformed in Christ: Essays on the Renewal of Moral Theology (Sapientia Press, 2017). He also wrote the Foreword to the 1997 English edition of Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body.

Dr. Grabowski has also offered a variety of courses for adults, catechists, and lay ministers in the Washington area and has presented at conferences across the United States.

He and his wife Claire have five children, two grandchildren, and reside in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.


Debbie Shinskie

Presenting on: Human Trafficking

After her birth mother made the bravest decision of her life, Debbie was adopted by loving Catholic 
parents who were unable to have children biologically.  Her first date with her future husband included a stop at the prolife booth of the county fair where Don gave her a baby feet pin for her nurse's uniform.  Now they are blessed with 30 years of marriage, 4 grown children, 2 saints in Heaven, and 3 young grandchildren.  Debbie worked for a number of years as a maternal-child health RN and educator for parents and professionals and has 2 published textbooks in the field of human lactation.  Always active in her parishes and diocese, she has served as a parish respect life coordinator and master catechist with a focus in teaching Theology of the Body and RCIA topics before becoming the director of the Respect Life Office of the Archdiocese of New Orleans.   



Additional Presentations

 Be Not Afraid
Diocesan Resources
End of Life Ethics
Legislative Respect Life Work
Post Abortion Healing – Rachel’s Vineyard
Pregnancy Support
Regional Pro-Life Resources
USCCB Pro-Life Updates


Lodging Information

For those considering traveling the day prior to the Saturday event, please note that weekend lodging in the Asheville area tends to be both more expensive and more difficult to find the closer to the date you are requesting lodging.  Should you desire to travel the day before the event, it is strongly advised that you arrange your lodging in the near future.  A block of twelve rooms is being held until August 22, to be reserved on a first come, first served basis, at the Hampton Inn, 155 Sugarloaf Road, Hendersonville.  This hotel is approximately a 20 minute drive away from St. Barnabas.  The hotel phone number is 828-697-2333 and the reservation block is called “Catholic Charities.”  If you reserve online through the website, please note that the hotel code is AVLHN and the group code is CCG.




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The Respect Life Program will be holding its first High School Respect Life Essay Contest for the Diocese of Charlotte launching in Fall 2017. The Announcement will go out in October (Respect Life Month) and all interested high school students (Grades 9-12) can pick from a variety of Respect Life Topics provided by the Respect Life Office. The Essays will be due at the end of the semester with the winner(s) announced and prizes granted in January, 2018 around the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. 

Please visit this website frequently for updates and announcements and check with your Catholic High School and respective parishes in October for official guidelines and entry information. 

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