for Life & Justice
In the Gospel of Life, Pope John Paul II calls for
“…a general mobilization of consciences and a united ethical effort
to activate a great campaign in support of life. All together, we must build
a new culture of life” (no. 95).
You are invited to tap the expertise of the Commission and Committee
members to enliven the effort to activate this great campaign in your community
of residence or work. Call the Family Life Office (886-5551) for information
about how the Commission can assist you.
COMMISSION FOR LIFE AND JUSTICE
- Kathy Capon, Holy Name Parish, Ebensburg
- Joan Gilbert, St. John Parish, Hollidaysburg
- Shirley Hall, St. Matthew Parish, Tyrone
- Dr. Judy Jacobus, St. John the Evangelist Parish, Lakemont, Commission
- Charlie Leiden, St. John the Evangelist Parish, Lakemont
- Dr. Carolyn Nickerson, St. Demetrius Parish, Gallitzin
- Sue Rogacs, Our Lady of Victory Parish, State College
- Rev. John Slovikovski, Parochial Vicar, St. Patrick Parish,
- Sr. Fran Stein, RSM, Mount Aloysius, Cresson
- Susan Teske, St. Michael Parish, Hollidayburg
- Rev. Mr. Pasquale Valerio, St. Peter Parish, Somerset
Commission Goals (Accepted 4/24/01)
Goal 1 - Create an organizational structure that serves
the Commission's charge to "be the
conscience of the Diocese" on Life and Justice Issues.
Overview - Bishop Joseph used the expression
"conscience of the Diocese" when he gave the Commission its charge in January,
2001. To serve in this role well, the Commission must create committees whose
work will be to assist the Commission to stimulate greater respect for life
across the broad range of issues. It would be fruitful for the committees’
structure and function to, in some way, reflect the four areas of resources
called into action in the Pastoral Plan (1985; revised in 2001): public
information and education; pastoral care; and public policy efforts; prayer.
Goal 2 - Establish the Commission as a credible, visible source
of knowledge and advisement
that reflect the Gospel message of the Lord Jesus Christ and Pope John Paul
teaching regarding positions on the broad spectrum of Life Issues which inherently
issues of justice!
Overview - Visibility to the public
and credibility on a wide range of issues will be second only to grace as
powerful resources for the work of this Commission. Each member of
the Commission must commit herself or himself to ongoing conversion and responsible
development of knowledge and virtue to serve the Commission's other goals.
Goal 3 - Effectively mobilize parishes and other subgroups in
the Diocese to raise up
Life Issues for wider and more frequent consideration by their members.
Overview - The People of God share responsibility
for the cultivation of conscience and culture that nourish and protect the
sacredness of life. The Commission's work will bear fruit to the extent
that all the faithful are actively engaged in consideration and response
to those forces that threaten life in ways that touch them everyday.
COMMITTEES of the COMMISSION FOR LIFE AND
DIOCESE OF ALTOONA-JOHNSTOWN
“You are God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful
deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1
Pet 2:9): a people of life and for life (The Gospel of Life).
There are a total of six standing committees of the Commission for
Life and Justice. Three are “issues” committees and three are “outreach”
committees. Each Committee is chaired by a member of the Commission. Interested
persons outside of the Commission are nominated for membership on these committees.
Issues Committees include:
Issues Committees of the Commission act in an advisory capacity to the
Commission. Members scan the environment for factors that are affecting
professional and popular understanding of the issue, scan literature for sources
of reliable information and issue analyses, identify, evaluate and make recommendations
regarding issue-related resources that could be used in diocesan outreach
- Issue: Abortion/Infanticide/Stem Cell Research and Related
- Issue: Euthanasia/Assisted Suicide/Brain Death and Related
- Issue: Capital Punishment and Related Issues
Outreach Committees have the specific responsibilities described.
The three outreach committees are:
- Outreach: Public Relations
The Public Relations Committee serve as a liaison between the Commission
for Life and Justice of Altoona-Johnstown and other diocesan commissions or
committees for life. This committee is also developing a speaker's bureau
whose members could address any of a variety of life issues in a public forum
and work with the Family Life Office to focus attention on Life Issues regularly
in The Catholic Register.
- Outreach: Professional
The Professional Outreach Committee identifies and recommends opportunities
for the initiation of life issues activities with groups of professionals
in health care, higher education, law, social service, etc. and mentor professionals
serving as study group leaders or in development roles on life issues.
- Parish Outreach
The Parish Outreach Committee serves as a resource for the study of life
issues for parishes and schools in the Diocese (e.g. in study groups, October
special events, as foci in special liturgical seasons, as special courses,
etc.). It recommends pastoral and educational resources for use in parish
programs, promotes life issues liturgical events, vigils, and devotional
practices in parishes, creates the means of prompting attention to Life Issues
in parishes (e.g. bulletin inserts, periodic announcements, etc.), and supports
efforts to establish parish based life issues organizations. It has established
a Diocesan-wide communication network of life-issues representatives from
For more information about the work of the Commission for Life
contact Sr. Rosella
Lacovitch, CSJ in the Family Life Office (886-5551) or any commission