A DIOCESAN RESPECT LIFE MASS last weekend at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany included a commissioning ceremony for parish respect life representatives. "The world is looking now for light, for love, for healing, and it is us that Jesus is counting on," declared Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger.

Top photo, parish respect life representatives are commissioned by Bishop Scharfenberger during the diocesan Respect Life Mass. The Mass also honored Mary during October, which is the month of the Rosary as well as Respect Life Month.

Bottom, Cassandra Spellman and her daughters, Therese and Mary, stand for a prayer; Tara Moser does a reading; and Bishop Scharfenberger commissions Cathy Haugen of St Paul's parish in Hancock with as a respect life representative.

The Bishop said there are three critical aspects to respect life ministry: It must be holistic, inclusive and relational.

"Our concern for life has to be a concern for whole persons," said the Bishop. "Every single life is precious from the moment of conception to natural death....[That] means every life, not just some lives -- particularly lives that at times are very, very difficult to deal with, like drug addicts, like people who might ask for a handout, like immigrants who might not speak our language, who might not be legal....They are our brothers and sisters."

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