A new year is almost upon us, and with a new year comes a chance for change. People traditionally make new year’s resolutions to improve themselves. These include things like eating healthier, exercising more, or reading more books. But what if this coming year we resolve to improve the world around us by building or strengthening the culture of life within our families and communities? Imagine the good that we could do if we all make a concerted effort to more proudly and purposefully live out our pro-life beliefs.
To start the year off right, we want to share some ideas for ways you can make 2024 a culture-of-life year. The more of these activities that we all include in our weekly or daily lives, the greater our ability to effect change around us.
1. Attend the March for Life
Though Roe v. Wade has been overturned, thousands of babies are still dying in abortuaries every day. We cannot let up. Nor can we give up. Attend the March for Life and speak up for the voiceless. If you cannot travel, watch it on TV. Post something on social media. Do something to help others understand that a baby dies in every abortion.
Fr. Mike Schmitz has hosted both of these podcasts and reads through the entire Bible and the entire Catechism in one year. This is a beautiful and life-changing way to spend 20-30 minutes each day. The change within you will reflect outward to others.
3. Volunteer at a pregnancy resource center.
Nearly every city has a center that helps pregnant mothers who are dealing with a surprise pregnancy. They all need volunteers. Tour one in your area and see what they need and how you can fill that need.
4. Pray in front of an abortion facility.
Your presence in front of a facility that kills babies gives voice to the babies, and it lets their mothers know that you care. Often these moms feel that they have no other option but abortion. Your kind words, your offer to help, and your gentle reminder that their babies are human beings may save a life.
5. Visit someone in a nursing home.
Many elderly nursing home residents have no one to visit them. They feel alone, depressed, and unloved. Taking the time to sit and chat, to play some games, or to just keep someone company can make a world of difference to them.
6. Write to a prisoner.
Visiting prisoners through a prison ministry takes a special kind of person and a lot of courage. But did you know that the Order of Malta has a program where you can write prisoners? Using only your first name, you communicate via letters with an inmate. This is a beautiful way to spread the gospel of life to someone who truly needs it.
7. Read a Catholic book as a family.
Choose a book about a saint or about some aspect of the faith, grab the kids, and spend just 15-20 minutes a night reading together and then discussing what you read. This will allow you to grow in faith as a family and will help give your kids the moral courage they need to stand up for their faith.
8. Post pictures of preborn babies on social media.
People love pictures, especially of babies! Find some pro-life memes or just some sonogram pictures online and post them with a simple message about the beauty of a preborn baby.
9. Attend or volunteer at a Special Olympics event.
The Special Olympics celebrates the abilities and athleticism of people with disabilities. Major events are held around the world regularly, and they always need volunteers or people to attend and cheer on the athletes.
10. Make meals for parents who have children in the hospital.
Most children’s hospitals have some kind of ministry that allows people to help the families of sick children by making them meals so they don’t have to find a way to cook for themselves or spend money by eating out. Many of these families have to travel and stay in hotels while their child receives treatment, which makes mealtime difficult. Alleviating the burden of having to find nourishing food is a beautiful way to show your love and to help reduce their stress and worry.
Research has found that only about nine percent of people keep their resolutions. In fact, according to Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business, “23% of people quit their resolution by the end of the first week, and 43% quit by the end of January.” Those aren’t encouraging numbers. This coming year, make a resolution to help people see that they matter and that you value them. Be part of that nine percent of people who make a resolution and who keep it.
This article first appeared in the Catholic World Report at catholicworldreport.com/2024/01/01/10-ways-to-strengthen-and-grow-a-culture-of-life-in-2024.