Pro-Life Office


Gospel of Life Podcast Discussion

The Gospel of Life Podcast Discussion Guide is a transcript of 10 podcasts by Pro Life Office director Marianne Luthin prepared for broadcast on Catholic TV on the relevance of John Paul II ‘s encyclical for parish pro life activities. The podcast scripts were expanded to include discussion questions and additional resources and printed in a book format that was distributed to all parish pro-life committees. Limited quantities of the book are still available. The text of each section with discussion questions can be downloaded for use by parish pro-life committees. All text is copyrighted and cannot be used outside parish pro-life committees without permission of the Pro Life Office.

Living the Gospel of Life Outline

  1. What is the Gospel of Life?
    Overview: John Paul II’s Gospel of Life (Evangelium Vitae) is a contemporary recounting of present-day threats to human life with a stirring call to become “people of life” committed to building a new culture based on the dignity of the human person. The full text is available on-line, by clicking here.

    In the Gospel of Life, John Paul II highlights modern contemporary threats to human dignity that he calls an “eclipse of the value of life in contemporary society” (10).  Issues like abortion, embryonic research, and euthanasia are different in nature from other violations of human dignity (e.g. war, poverty, discrimination) because they are based on a dangerous notion of personal rights and freedom.

    The “Living the Gospel of Life” series examines some of the key themes of the Gospel of Life, and the Scripture passages on which they are based, and then applies them to how we are being called to live out the Gospel of Life as Catholics in the Archdiocese of Boston and citizens of the United States. The numbers in parenthesis after the title refer to the sections of the encyclical cited in that segment. The study guide also lists additional resources and discussion questions for further reflection on the segment theme.
  2. When Freedom and Truth Collide (18): True meaning of freedom; facts and figures about abortion in the US (1 million + abortions every year; 1 out of 3 women of child-bearing years); need to reestablish the connection between freedom and truth as the basis of a true culture of life.
  3. The Consistency of Church Teaching on Abortion (52 – 62): A quick historical overview as well as the interrelationship of opposition to abortion and opposition to other forms of violence and degradation of the human person.
  4. The Family as the “Sanctuary of Life” (92): Recognizing the centrality of the family in building a culture of life; the roles of parents as co-creators with God; an overview of  John Paul II’s  “theology of the body” and local study groups in the Archdiocese.
  5. Transforming the Culture (95): The enormous challenge of an urgent “mobilization  of consciences and a united ethical effort to activate a great campaign in support of life”; work of Pregnancy Help and the Parish Baby Shower program as examples of responding to the call for the creation of “centers of life” to help women in crisis pregnancies.
  6. Understanding Suffering and Death (15, 46, 47, 97): Understanding the increasing calls for euthanasia and “death with dignity” in light of the ultimate purpose of human life; special role of the elderly in building a culture of life; local examples in the Church of compassion at end-of-life.
  7. The “Unique and Decisive” Role of Women in Building a Culture of Life (99): Model of Mary Ann Glendon in representing the Church worldwide and, in particular, here in the Archdiocese mentoring young women to see the truly life-affirming teachings of the Church in balancing home/career/personal lives.
  8. Healing the Wounds of Abortion (99): The ministry of Project Rachel in helping women and men come to healing after participation in abortion.
  9. Living the Gospel of Life in Ordinary Daily Life (86, 98): Need to emphasize “being” over “having”; highlight examples of volunteers helping with the mission of the Pro Life Office; importance of prayer.
  10. Celebrating the Gospel of Life in Prayer and Culture (85): Importance of cultural expressions of the culture of life; examples from parishes and Archdiocese (Annunciation Day celebrations, Spiritual Adoption program under patronage of Our Lady of Guadalupe; high school Pilgrimage for Life).