THE UNBORN CHILD: A GIFT, A TREASURE, A PROMISE
In this time of New Evangelization, we are all called to reflect on the gifts God has given us – the first among them being life itself! This workshop can help in our reflection on the value of human life and the tragedy of abortion. The workshop can be hosted as a parish-based event. As “domestic churches”, couples and families might also choose to host the workshop in their own homes, for themselves or with groups of friends.
A. Opening greeting from moderator:
The moderator extends a few words of welcome to those gathered, summarizing the objectives of the workshop.
B. Invocation of the Holy Spirit:
The moderator invites those gathered to join in the following, well known, prayer:
Come Holy Spirit
All: Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Moderator: Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created.
All: And You shall renew the face of the earth.
Moderator: Let us pray.
All: O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolations. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
C. Reading from the Word of God:
Psalm 139: 13-16
D. Small Groups Discussion:
The moderator breaks the gathering into small groups — ideally including no more than six individuals. Each group is assigned a limited number of questions — found on the last page of the brochure. A photocopy of the last page of the brochure is provided to each participant. Each group nominates a spokesperson/secretary who will report to the larger group at the completion of the exercise (45 minutes).
E. Sharing with large group:
A spokesperson from each of the small groups is invited to report the insights of his or her group relative to each question. Contributions to the larger group should be limited to one main insight per question considered (45 minutes).
F. Closing thanks and optional prayer:
The moderator thanks the participants for their presence and their insights and—optionally—closes by inviting all gathered to join in praying the Lord’s Prayer.
G. Parish Bulletin:
A summary of the main insights emerging from the workshop can be published in the parish bulletin.
Suggested supplementary reading:
- Catechism of the Catholic Church (see especially paragraphs 2270 through 2275)
- The Gospel of Life (Evangelium Vitae) (1995 encyclical of Blessed John Paul II)
- Charity in Truth (Caritas in Veritate), see especially paragraphs 28 and 75 (2009 encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI)
- Of Human Life (Humanae Vitae) (1968 encyclical of Pope Paul VI)
For personal prayer and reflection:
Job 10: 8-12 Luke 1:15
Isaiah 49: 1-5 Luke 1: 41-44
Jeremiah 1: 4-5 Matthew 18:10
Psalm 127: 3 Galatians 1:15