Here you can download a breakdown of the Day for Life collection taken annually from 2008-present and other financial details such as how monies are allocated.
Theme: The Wonder of Human Life in Our Common Home
“Faced with the sacredness of life and of the human person, and before the marvels of the universe, wonder is the only appropriate attitude.” Letter of St John Paul II to Artists, 1999
Last year was the hottest on record.
In a small village in India, Jejabba braved the midday heat to take his cows to shelter by a mango grove. He arrived home dehydrated and died before he could reach hospital. He was 63. Jejabba is not alone. Over 4,500 people in India and Pakistan died during last summer’s heatwave. Rising temperatures are making droughts more severe and floods more intense. The poor always suffer most.
Last year, Pope Francis published his important encyclical on the relationship between God’s holy people and creation – Laudato si’. The Pope reminded us powerfully that we are one human family sharing a common home, dependent upon one another and the whole of creation.
It is our duty to “pay special attention to the most vulnerable.” He said, “Neglecting to monitor the harm done to nature and the environmental impact of our decisions is only the most striking sign of a disregard for the message contained in the structures of nature itself. When we fail to acknowledge as part of reality the worth of a poor person, a human embryo, a person with disabilities – to offer just a few examples – it becomes difficult to hear the cry of nature itself; everything is connected.” Pope Francis, Laudato si’ 117
When we recognise and grow in wonder that we are all brothers and sisters living in one common home, it will not only affect how we care for the environment, but more importantly how we care for one another, how we welcome and accept those with different needs and abilities, refugees, the elderly, the unborn, the forgotten and the abandoned.
Growing in wonder will help us to treasure more deeply the gift of human life.
A prayer to deepen our wonder at the gift of life from Laudato si’:
All powerful God, you are present in the whole universe
and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of your love,
That we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace, that we may live
as brothers and sisters, harming no one.
Prayers of the Faithful
The psalmist sings that the heavens and the earth declare the glory of God. Confident that God listens to even the smallest of his creatures, we pray…
For God’s faithful people who are one in Christ. That we may continually grow in praise and thanksgiving for all the wonders that He has given us. Lord, hear us…
For those who work for ecological justice and peace in the world.That they may inspire in others a love for creation and a reverential care for our common home. Lord, hear us….
For people who are disabled or sick. That their presence in our communities may lead to a greater sense of care and friendship, and a deeper appreciation of the unique gifts that each person brings with them. Lord, hear us….
For the dying. That they may peacefully learn to let go of the beauty and joys of this world, for the beauty and joy beyond compare that is to come. Lord, hear us…
For those who have died. That they may find their final rest in paradise where there will be no more sorrow but only peace and joy with their loving Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
Almighty God, Creator Lord,
Who presents the world to us as a gift and as our common home, and entrusts us with the care of other human beings who are also gifts for us as we are gifts for them, grant that we may see others as brothers and sisters in Christ, and that we may strive to protect and cherish life so that all may be all in You.
Thema: Y Rhodd o Fywyd
Y flwyddyn ddiwethaf oedd y danbeitiaf a gofnodwyd.
Mewn pentref bach yn India, mentrodd Jejabba i’r gwres canol-dydd er mwyn cysgodi ei fuchod ger celli mango. Cyrhaeddodd adref wedi sychu a bu farw cyn gallu cyrraedd yr ysbyty. Roedd yn 63 oed.
Nid yw achos Jejabba yn unigryw. Bu farw 4,500 o bobl yn India a Pakistan yn ystod y don wres y llynedd. Mae cynnydd mewn tymheredd yn gwneud cyfnodau o sychder yn llymach a llifogydd yn rymusach. Y tlodion sy’n dioddef fwyaf bob tro.
Y llynedd, cyhoeddodd y Pab Ffransis ei gylchlythyr pwysig ar y berthynas rhwng pobl sanctaidd Duw a’r greadigaeth – Laudato Si’. Atgoffodd ni yn huawdl ein bod yn un teulu dynol sy’n rhannu cartref cyffredin ac yn dibynnu ar ein gilydd a’r greadigaeth gyfan. Mae’n ddyletswydd arnom i “dalu sylw arbennig i’r rhai mwyaf bregus.” Dywedodd,
“Trwy esgeuluso cadw golwg ar y niwed a wneir i natur ac effaith ein penderfyniadau ar yr amgylchedd gwelir ar ei amlycaf ddibristod o’r neges sy’n rhan o natur ei hun. Pan fethwn â chydnabod fel rhan wirioneddol o fywyd werth person tlawd, embryo dynol, rhywun a chanddo anableddau – i nodi dim ond ychydig o esiamplau – daw’n anodd clywed cri natur ei hun; mae pob dim wedi ei gydgysylltu.” (Y Pab Francis, Laudato Si’
Pan gydnabyddwn a rhyfeddu fwyfwy ein bod i gyd yn frodyr a chwiorydd sy’n byw mewn cartref cyffredin, bydd hyn yn effeithio nid yn unig ar ein triniaeth o’r amgylchedd ond hefyd, yn bwysicach, ar ein gofal dros ein gilydd, sut yr ydym yn croesawu a derbyn pobl a chanddynt wahanol anghenion a galluoedd, ffoaduriaid, yr oedrannus, y rheini heb eu geni, y rhai anghofiedig a gadawedig.
Bydd rhyfeddu mwy yn gymorth inni drysori rhodd bywyd yn ddyfnach.
Gweddi i ddyfnhau ein rhyfeddod at rodd bywyd (o Laudato Si’)
O Dduw hollalluog, rwyt ti’n bresennol trwy’r holl fydysawd
ac yn y lleiaf o’th greaduriaid.
Rwyt ti’n cofleidio’n dyner bob dim sy’n bodoli.
Tywallt arnom rym dy gariad
er mwyn inni warchod bywyd a harddwch.
Llenwa ni â’th dangnefedd er mwyn inni fyw
fel brodyr a chwiorydd, heb ddrygu neb.
A Reflection on the Gift of Human Life
Paula has profound intellectual and multiple disabilities and she spends much of her time rocking gently, smiling and looking around her. She cannot talk but she clearly loves to sit outside in her wheelchair, in spontaneous appreciation, listening to the birds, feeling the warmth of the sun and the cool of the wind, taking in the scent of the flowers. Just watching the world go by. Above all, she loves people to come and sit with her. As Jean Vanier, the founder of L’Arche says, people like Paula live by the heart.
Paula reminds us all, especially very busy people, to stop and see that God has given us so many gifts, and often the most wondrous gifts are the simple ones that we take for granted. It is also easy to overlook or ignore or indeed think less of people who rely on the heart, who do not seem to be ‘like us’ because of disability, age, vulnerability or frailty.
In Luke’s Gospel, the disciples come to a crucial turning point as Jesus asks them, “who do you say I am?”. Peter’s reply, you are “the Christ” is inspired and spontaneous. It is from the heart. People like Paula ask simply by their presence, “who do you say I am?”. The response is also inspired: each human being, whatever his or her capacities, is wonderfully made in the image of God and as St Paul tells the Galatians, all the baptised are one in Christ. There is no ‘us’ and ‘them’.
In his encyclical on ecology, Laudato ‘si, Pope Francis points out that we are deeply connected to the world around us. However, he adds that “a sense of deep communion with the rest of nature cannot be real if our hearts lack tenderness, compassion and concern for our fellow human beings.” The Pope says that “we have only one heart” because ecology is also human ecology. An attitude of the heart allows us to see the world around us with wonder and as grace filled, so that all creation is alive to the glory of God. And the heart reminds us that every human being is a Christ for the other.
Please support this vital work in any way you can. Donations assist the work of the Anscombe Bioethics Centre and other life-related activities supported by the Church.
Prayer – Blessed is the fruit of your womb
We thank you, Lord, for the gift of life.
Every human life is your gift to the world.
Each person is unique, with a task you have entrusted to them alone.
Help us always to promote the basic rights of all,
and to recognise that we are all parts of one body,
dependent on one another,
and called to share a common life.
Spiritual Care of the Dying
This publication was written by a working group commissioned by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales to assist healthcare staff in the provision of spiritual care.
Contributors include: Dr Catherine Gleeson, Consultant in Palliative Medicine, Dr David Jones, Director of the Anscombe Bioethics Centre; Bishop Paul Mason, former Chaplain at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and now Auxiliary Bishop of Southwark and Rev Dr James Hanvey SJ, Master of Campion Hall, University of Oxford.
Meeting the Pastoral Needs of Catholic Patients
As Christians we believe that every human life is a gift from God and that to live that life fully we must love one another. Illness, whether mental or physical is a part of the human condition and most if not all of us will have to cope with it at some time in our lives. Ill health makes us aware of our human frailty, and calls for a response of love and care, recognising always that to be human is to be body, soul and spirit, and that we are ultimately called by God to follow Our Lord through death to the fullness of life with Him.
This Guide seeks in a practical way to bring this Christian perspective to bear on a number of difficult questions arising in new legislation – the Mental Capacity Act – which came into force in October 2007. The Mental Capacity Act is about all the practical choices that have to be made on behalf of people who cannot make some decisions for themselves. These may be financial decisions, choices about where to live, or how someone is to be cared for. It is the healthcare concerns, viewed in the light of Catholic moral teaching, that are the main focus of this booklet.
The Limits of Human Life
Cherishing Life, the Bishops’ 2004 document on the moral and spiritual well-being of the human person in society, offers clear definitions of subjects concerned with the dignity of life from conception to natural death.
There is a mystery at the heart of each of us that cannot be reduced to our place in society or the talents or qualities we happen to have. Christians express this mystery by saying that every human being has a spiritual ‘soul’ directly created by God. We should always think of soul and life together as in the phrase ‘the life and soul of the party’. The soul is not something extra added to human life, but is what moves and shapes that life.
The human being is neither merely a physical body nor merely a ghost living inside a body. The human being is a living whole, a unity of body and soul. This unity is the foundation of many rights, for instance, the right to religious freedom. People need to express their spiritual lives in bodily ways, through actions, words and gestures, as in the words of Scripture ‘use your body for the glory of God’ (1 Corinthians 6: 20).