Since his pontificate began a little more than six months ago, Pope Francis has followed his predecessors in encouraging the faithful to spread the Gospel in the public square. He even emphasizes in our story on page 6 that a good Catholic actively participates in politics, "offering the best of himself, so that those who govern can

As we mark Respect Life Sunday on Oct. 6, my hope is that we all heed the Pope’s words: that we offer the best of ourselves — and clearly show our nation’s leaders our commitment to defend human life. Take note of the variety of related events going on in your diocese — 40 Days for Life, Eucharistic adoration for the unborn, Mass for a greater respect for human life, Rosaries for life — and actively participate. Visit a nursing home. Donate your time at a homeless shelter, food pantry or crisis-pregnancy center.

Of course, the most important thing we all can do is pray. I encourage you to pray for those individuals who are leading and attending the events, as well as for our politicians, whose daily decisions affect all of us.

As always, it is through our prayers and our activities that we all can contribute to the dismantling of the current culture of death and help to rebuild a culture of life.

God bless you!