The number three is critical in making a difference in the life of someone contemplating a vocation. When three or more people encourage someone to consider a religious vocation, he or she is five times more likely to take serious steps toward answering that call.
Being alone in considering a vocation is tough. Even having one other person giving encouragement results in a doubling of the likelihood that someone will consider a vocation.
Pope Francis calls for an overhaul of the framework of aid policies and food production. Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines ties poverty-focused international assistance to building peace and prosperity in the world.
"Even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God's creation, made in His own image, destined to live forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect," Pope Francis said in his Day for Life Greeting last year.
When God created each of us, He did so with precision and purpose, and He looks on each of us with love that can't be outdone in intensity or tenderness, said Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities.
Major challenges face families today, including an erosion of their foundation.
The Catholic Church has been a major advocate for families and continues to do so. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, joined Pope Francis and the office for the Synod of Bishops in encouraging a universal Day of Prayer on Sept. 28 for the Third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops at the Vatican. The synod, Oct. 5-19, will address "Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization."