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Respect Life

Respect Life Ministry within the Archdiocese of Milwaukee is overseen by the office of Dignity of the Human Person. Staff coordinates the planning of the annual Respect Life Mass, Holy Hours for Life, and distribution of annual Respect Life Parish Kits. Pro-Life Ministry Internet Resources are also provided.

Respect Life 2021

Building a culture that cherishes and protects every human life.

The over 56 million abortions since the 1973 decisions of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton reflect with heartbreaking magnitude what Pope Francis means by a “throwaway culture.” However, we have great trust in God’s providence. We are reminded time and again in Scripture to seek the Lord’s help, and as people of faith, we believe that our prayers are heard.​

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal, no. 373, designates January 22 as a particular day of prayer and penance, called the “Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children”: “In all the Dioceses of the United States of America, January 22 (or January 23, when January 22 falls on a Sunday) shall be observed as a particular day of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life and of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion.”

As individuals, we are called to observe this day through the penitential practices of prayer, fasting and/or giving alms. Another way to take part is through participating in special events to observe the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. 



“A great prayer for life is urgently needed, a prayer which will rise up throughout the world. Through special initiatives and in daily prayer, may an impassioned plea rise to God, the Creator and lover of life, from every Christian community, from every group and association, from every family and from the heart of every believer.”

Evangelium vitae, 100

Respect for Life Masses on January 22, 2021

Due to COVID-19, Archbishop Listecki has asked that Masses be said across the Archdiocese on January 22, rather than holding one Mass. This way, social distancing and other precautionary guidelines may be observed. Below are the scheduled Masses; please note that times or presiders are subject to change. 



City Parish Time and Presider
Allenton Resurrection 8 a.m. with Fr. Stoffel
Brookfield St. John Vianney 6:30 p.m. (live-streamed) with Archbishop Listecki
Burlington St. Mary 7 p.m. with Fr. Volkert
Fox Lake Annunciation 8 a.m. (live-streamed) with Fr. Radetski
Fox Point St. Eugene 7 p.m. (live-streamed) with Fr. Hartmann
Greenfield St. John the Evangelist 8 a.m. (live-streamed) with Fr. Merkt
Kenosha St. Elizabeth 12 p.m. with Fr. Granger
Milwaukee Basilica of St. Josaphat 7 a.m. with Fr. Zurek
Muskego St. Leonard 12 p.m. with Fr. Janasik
Plymouth St. John the Baptist 12 p.m. (live-streamed) with Bishop Schuerman
Racine Sacred Heart  6 p.m. (live-streamed) with Fr. Martin
Waupun St. Joseph 6 p.m. (live-streamed) with Fr. Radetski
Wauwatosa Christ King 12 p.m. with Bishop Haines


2020-2021 Theme: Live the Gospel of Life

Respect Life Ministry is overseen by Social Justice Ministry / Dignity of the Human Person.

This office participates in the planning of:

  • National Day of Prayer and Penance for Life Mass (usually held annually on January 22)
  • Holy Hours for Life (led by deacons of the Archdiocese)
  • Distribution of Respect Life Program materials via Parish Kits (usually mailed to parishes in Aug./Sept.), also available for download from USCCB
  • Education related to Catholic Social Teaching on Life and Dignity of the Human Person (click on the video link to play)

Respect Life Resources - English | Español

"How to Build a Culture of Life" - English | Español

"Catholic Considerations for Our Earthly Passing" - English | Español

"What to Do When a Friend is Considering Abortion" - English | Español

"Understanding Conscience" - English | Español

"Death Penalty, Catholic Q & A" - English | En Español

"Top Reasons to Oppose Assisted Suicide" - English | En Español


Pro-Life Ministry Internet Resources

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Pro-Life Activities
The Bishops' Secretariat for Pro Life Activities is the prime source for the bishops' policy and teaching statements on pro-life issues, including public policy information.

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Departments
The departments of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops produce program information on a broad range of public policy issues of concern to the bishops.

National Human Life Action Center
The Human Life Action Center publishes program information on pro-life issues in Congress, legislative reports, fact sheets, legislative briefing pages, and action alerts.

Wisconsin Catholic Conference
The website for the Wisconsin Catholic Conference - the public policy voice of the Roman Catholic bishops of this state. The WCC offers a specifically Catholic contribution to state and federal public policy debates. The web site includes political guidelines, bishops' statements, press releases, newsletters, editorials and testimonies, and legislative information.

Project Rachel
Project Rachel is managed by the USCCB and is the Catholic Church's healing ministry to people who have been involved in an abortion. The web site offers information in English and Spanish with resources, prayers, and background on abortion's aftermath. For help, contact the National Referral line at 800-5-WE-CARE.


Contact Us

Rob Shelledy
Diocesan Director


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Resources to pregnant moms and families in need.

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The Archdiocese of Milwaukee

3501 South Lake Drive
PO Box 070912
Milwaukee, WI 53207-0912

Phone:  (414) 769-3300
Toll-Free: (800) 769-9373
Fax:  (414)  769-3408