By Susan Ciancio
October is almost upon us! Crisp air, comfy sweaters, beautiful leaves, and apple picking are just a few of the things people enjoy this month.
But did you know that October is Respect Life Month? Not only that, but it’s Down Syndrome Awareness Month and Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month as well. There’s so much to celebrate, so much to think about, and so much to give thanks for!
To help you and your families build a culture of life this October, we have created a list of special activities and lessons you can do every day of the month. Some are brief and easy. Others require a bit more effort. But all will help you and your family recognize and develop empathy for others, especially those who do not have a voice.
We can’t think of a better way to prepare for the holiday season!
So, whether you’re a teacher, a homeschool mom, a religious education instructor, or if you just want to teach the culture of life at home to your children or grandchildren, the Culture of Life Studies Program has what you need to immerse your kids in real-world pro-life education.
Take a look at this comprehensive list of activities. Then talk with your family about the importance of respecting and valuing all human beings. And get ready for some fun activities!
October 1: Celebrate the Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux
Talk about St. Therese’s Little Way. How can you help your kids see that they can build a culture of life in little ways? Every act of kindness toward their fellow man, every prayer said for preborn babies, every visit to a nursing home: They all matter. In addition, take time to learn about St. Therese’s parents, who are also saints! As a family, say some prayers for someone in need today.
October 2: Celebrate the Feast of the Guardian Angels
Explain the importance of guardian angels and how we should pray to them every day. Say the Guardian Angel prayer with your children. As a handwriting assignment for little ones, have them write out the prayer. If you are using the spiritual adoption program, remind children that their little adopted babies have guardian angels too!
October 3: Life Chain Sunday!
Join parishes across the country as they stand in solidarity for preborn babies on this first Sunday in October. To learn more, visit lifechain.org.
October 4: Celebrate the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi
Read the story of St. Francis with your children and teach them the peace prayer. You can find it here. This is a beautiful prayer and one that all Catholics should know. Have your children memorize it and recite it back to you. You can even have younger kids write it on a piece of paper and decorate it. Talk about how becoming an instrument of peace can help build a culture of life.
October 5: Celebrate the Feast of St. Faustina Kowalska
Today is a great day to talk about God’s mercy and to learn about St. Faustina. Read a short bio, then check out our blog post that teaches how mercy helps build a culture of life. As a family, say some prayers asking for St. Faustina’s guidance.
October 6: Reach out to a family who has a child with Down syndrome
Show your support and appreciation for their example with a basket of goodies and a card that tells them what a beautiful family they have. You just might make their day! Find more activities and resources about Down Syndrome Awareness Month here or check out our ideas to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month.
October 7: Celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary
This feast day has its roots in the Battle of Lepanto. Combine history and religion by reading this article to your children. Discuss the importance of relying on God, especially during the difficult times in life. Say a decade of the Rosary together for an end to abortion. Teach young students about Mary, the mother of God, with our lesson entitled Honoring the Blessed Mother. Or join American Life League’s Marian Blue Wave—a Rosary effort to end abortion and close down Planned Parenthood facilities.
October 8: Write a loving letter
If you know someone who has recently lost a baby due to miscarriage, write a note expressing your sorrow and reminding her of the value of her precious little one. See our article on miscarriage for some inspiration. And if you’ve lost a baby through miscarriage, know that you are not alone. Our prayers are with you as you navigate this difficult time.
October 9: Pro-Life Cupcake Day
Participate in Pro-Life Cupcake Day on October 9! Bake pro-life themed cupcakes for family, friends, or to take to a pregnancy help center! It’s great fun for the whole family! Plus, you get to eat cupcakes.
October 10: 40 Days for Life
40 Days for Life runs from September 22 – October 31 this year, so you have all of October to participate! 40 Days for Life is a prayerful vigil outside of Planned Parenthood clinics across the country that not only witnesses to mothers and fathers entering the clinic, but also to the abortion clinic workers and passersby on the street. Volunteers have saved almost 20,000 babies since 2007!
October 11: Learn about Dr. Jérôme Lejeune
Dr. Lejeune is known as the Father of Modern Genetics, but few people know that this brilliant French scientist who discovered the genetic cause of Down syndrome was Catholic and staunchly pro-life. Use this CLSP lesson to learn about Dr. Lejeune’s courage in defending children with Down syndrome. Begin conversations with your children about disabilities and caring for the weakest and most vulnerable members of our society.
October 12: Teach your kids that people come in all shapes and sizes
Help kids understand that we are all special by using our All Shapes and Sizes study, which teaches that people with disabilities are just like us. Our differences are what make the world such a beautiful place.
October 13: October is also National Bullying Prevention Month
Use our lesson Caring for the Least of These to teach your children how to stand up for those who are bullied or who may feel too timid to stand up for themselves.
October 14: Teach kids that life is precious!
Use our new downloadable pre-K-2 lesson entitled Life Is Precious to teach young children about the beauty of preborn babies.
October 15: Celebrate the Feast of St. Teresa of Avila
St. Teresa was an amazing woman! We can use her example as we work toward building a culture that respects life. Read her bio to your family and discuss what you will do to take care of others.
October 16: Celebrate the Feast of St. Gerard Majella
St. Gerard is the patron saint of motherhood and preborn children. Read a short bio of him with your family today and say some prayers for preborn babies.
October 17: Learn about our Blessed Mother
Teach young children about the relationship between our Blessed Mother and the ladybug with our free lesson entitled Ladybug Warriors.
October 18: Teach compassion
All little kids like bedtime stories. Read aloud the book Wonder—a beautiful story about a young boy with a facial deformity. As you read, use our free discussion guide to talk about the important themes with your kids.
October 19: Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity
The third Tuesday in October is traditionally a Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity. Give up your voice for a day to represent the 3,000 babies killed by abortion every day. This is a powerful witness to the babies, and it teaches kids self-control. Imagine not talking for a whole day! Younger kids can try this for a shorter period.
October 20: Teach kindness
Help your children see that having autism doesn’t stop people from doing amazing things. Watch Temple Grandin and then use our free movie discussion guide to discuss how we can all make people feel loved and cherished.
October 21: Teach about the development of the preborn baby
Begin our lesson Defend Life: The Beauty of the Developing Human Being to help middle schoolers learn about the development of preborn babies.
October 22: Celebrate the Feast of St. John Paul II
St. John Paul II was an amazing pontiff. We can learn so much from him! Search for some of his most famous quotes. Talk about them with your children. Have older children read excerpts from some of his writings, like Evangelium Vitae or his Letter to Women. Both documents contain incredible wisdom about building a culture of life.
October 23: Make a Difference Day
This is a day to go out into your community and perform an act of volunteerism or an act of charity for someone. You can do it alone, with a friend, or even with a huge group of people. How can you use this day to build a culture of life? Know a single mom who needs her lawn mowed? Have an elderly neighbor who might delight in some freshly picked flowers? Have a friend who’s feeling lonely and needs a call or a visit? Make someone feel special today!
October 24: The Developing Baby
Our new lesson for kids in grades pre-k-2 teaches that every baby is a miracle! The Developing Baby is a 34-page, four-day lesson that uses Regina Doman’s book entitled Angel in the Waters to teach young children about the beauty of a preborn baby. Download our lesson, grab the book, and marvel at the wonder of the preborn baby!
October 25: Unique Prints
Download Unique Prints, a beautiful handprint lesson for kids in pre-k-2 that teaches children about the value of every person, regardless of ability. This lesson includes an easy, printable, 4-page handprint activity book to use with all of your young children.
October 26: Without Mercy
Begin a lesson that teaches the value of all people. CLSP’s middle and high school lesson entitled Without Mercy: An Introduction to Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide, and Other Threats to the Medically Vulnerable examines the complex topics of euthanasia and assisted suicide and teaches students the reality behind what the culture of death advocates regarding end-of-life issues. Using Church documents, the Catechism, and subject-matter experts, this four-class supplement provides students with a basic understanding of the Catholic Church’s teachings on euthanasia and gives students the tools they need to defend those teachings against current cultural attitudes and pro-euthanasia arguments.
October 27: Mildred Fay Jefferson
Mildred Fay Jefferson was the first African American woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School, the woman who changed the heart of then-Governor Ronald Reagan, a devout friend of the preborn, and an inspiration to many. Download this lesson for middle and high schoolers to teach about this amazing woman who dedicated her life to giving voice to preborn babies.
October 28: Where Hope Grows
This inspirational movie for teens portrays the friendship between a young man with Down syndrome and a troubled alcoholic. Where Hope Grows is a story of the power of friendship and the importance of reaching out to a friend in need. Our free movie discussion guide will help you discuss the themes in the movie after you watch.
October 29: Celebrate the Feast of Blessed Chiara Luce Badano
Blessed Chiara Luce Badano was a joyful young Italian girl who bravely battled a painful bone cancer. Until her death, Chiara encouraged her friends to trust in God, even in times of great pain and suffering. With the rise of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide in our society, many students today do not understand that suicide is not compassionate care for the suffering patient. We must help the next generation understand the value of suffering in their lives. This CLSP lesson teaches students the value of suffering in bringing us closer to God, especially at the end of life.
October 30: Pro-Life Prints
Use Pro-Life Prints to teach the uniqueness of each person. This four-day lesson for kids in grades pre-K-2 is intended to reinforce how every preborn is delicate and needs our protection.
October 31: Pro-life pumpkins!
October 31 is Halloween! Do you love carving pumpkins? How about trying your hand at a pro-life pumpkin this year? It’s a great way to get people to think as they rush to your door in search of candy!
There are countless ways to weave pro-life education into each and every day. And Respect Life Month is the perfect time to start.
We hope you enjoy doing some or all of these activities! Have a fun and safe October!