The Irish Bishops' Conference has designated Sunday 12 October as the Day for Life 2003. In his 1995 Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), Pope John Paul II proposed that 'a day for life be celebrated each year in every country'. The primary purpose of this day should be 'to foster in individual consciences, in families, in the Church and in civil society a recognition of the meaning and value of human life at every stage and in every condition'. This year, the Day for Life coincides with the 25th Anniversary of the Pontificate of His Holiness John Paul II who was elected on 16th October 1978. To mark the Pope's Silver Jubilee, the Irish Bishops' Conference has issued a Pastoral Letter entitled "The Wonder of Life" summarising the Pope's teachings on various life issues. 100,000 copies of the Pastoral Letter are being circulated to parishes throughout Ireland, and the text is also available in an Irish Language version. Printed copies of the Pastoral Letter are available at 50 cent from Veritas Publications at: http://www.veritas.ie. The text is also available on the website of the Catholic Communications Office at: http://www.catholiccommunications.ie/dayforlife
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