The following parish events throughout Respect Life Month offer various options to learn about and pray for those affected by both beginning and end of life issues:

Hopewell Valley parish plans Oct. 16 Mass for expecting families

Families expecting a child, hoping to conceive or to adopt are invited to a Mass Oct. 16 at 10 a.m. in St. James Church, Pennington.

The Mass falls on the feast day of St. Gerard Majella, the patron saint of children, the unborn, and those hoping to conceive or adopt a child. All are welcome to attend; refreshments will follow immediately after Mass, sponsored by the Catholic Community of Hopewell Valley’s Respect Life Ministry.

Please RSVP to Kris Khan, St. James Church is located at 115 E. Delaware Avenue.

End of life issues to be discussed in Barnegat Oct. 15

Those interested in learning more about end-of-life decisions that honor God and the teachings of the Church are encouraged to attend a breakfast and talk on Oct. 15 in St. Mary Parish, Barnegat.

Beginning with breakfast at 8:45 a.m. in Msgr. Reingbold Hall, the morning will include a 10 a.m. presentation in St. Mary Church by Dr. DiAnn Ecret, registered nurse and staff ethicist from the National Catholic Bioethics Center. More information is available at

Dr. Ecret has an extensive background in nursing and academics, and currently teaches nursing students as assistant professor at Ave Maria University, Fla. The topic applies to all, as end-of-life issues affect everyone sooner or later. The pandemic has caused even more confusion and new questions, which Dr. Ecret will address.

Cost for the breakfast is $7.00; registration is required at For more information contact St. Mary’s Respect Life co-coordinator Mary Anne Moresco, 732-547-0599. St. Mary Church is located at 747 West Bay Avenue.

Lincroft parish to host prayer service for couples desiring a child

St. Leo the Great Parish, Lincroft, will host a Prayer Service of Life and Hope on Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. for couples wishing to conceive a child.

“We’re hoping couples are spiritually enriched and walk away refreshed by having this public forum with like-minded people,” said Joseph Manzi, parishioner and director of finance and operation for St. Leo the Great Parish and School. “We’ve never done this before … if there is a good response we may have it on a monthly basis in the future.”

Father John Folchetti, pastor, will lead the service, which will include Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Adoration, praying a decade of the Rosary, and possibly a novena prayer to St. Gerard Majella, patron of expectant mothers. Manzi said the parish is working to procure a relic of St. Gerard and/or St. Rita of Cascia, patroness of impossible cases, to have present for the service.

St. Leo the Great Parish is located at 50 Hurleys Lane.

Compiled by EmmaLee Italia • Contributing Editor