September 27, 2018

Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,

The Catholic Church has traditionally set aside October as Respect Life Month. In the Alaskan Bishops’ Pastoral Letter published in February of this year, “Living in the Image and Likeness of God: Human Dignity and Divine Designs,” we emphatically repeated our unwavering stand for the sacredness of life from the moment of conception to natural death. We must be that voice for the most vulnerable of children, especially the defenseless unborn. In fact, we must protect the dignity and sacred image of all people, for every person is made in God’s own image.


Sadly, since the legalization of abortion in 1973, our nation alone has seen the death of more than 60 million unborn children. We have witnessed a significant increase in child abuse, sexual abuse, assault, and elder abuse, and now even physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia. In an outpouring of love, God created and breathed life into humanity, and declared man and woman and their relationship holy and sacred. Human life was God’s idea from the beginning, and is a sacred gift to us. He invites husbands and wives to be co-creators in the gift of life, which reflects His radiant beauty, goodness, and truth.

I invite you and your parish to take time to pray and share how we can continue to safeguard and honor the dignity of life from conception to natural death, which comes from the creative hand of God. I especially ask that you be that spiritual companion on the journey to help a brother or sister who is struggling to see that they are a big deal in the eyes of God, their life makes a difference, and that God has a mission and purpose for them.

Let us join the Mary, the Mother of God, who said “Yes” to the gift of the Christ Child, in giving the Lord our own yes for life.

Sincerely in Christ,

†Most Reverend Chad W. Zielinski
Catholic Bishop of Northern Alaska
Diocese of Fairbanks