Once again we begin the 40 Days For Life Campaign, across our Diocese, America, and around the World, to peacefully pray for the end of abortion.
Following the Supreme Court override of Roe vs. Wade back in June, some abortion advocates throughout the country began protests, attacked some early pregnancy centers, damaged a few churches, and threatened to disrupt Masses.
Our parish pro-life reps and pastors are concerned for people’s safety and possible danger regarding this year’s 40 Days For Life Campaign.
A number have fears of opposition. Some wish not to participate praying out on the sidewalk at Planned Parenthood on Case St. Many feel that an alternative of holding a pro-life parish prayer vigil at their churches this year is a good idea.
A number also feel strongly that it is important to witness to ‘The Right to Life’ and to continue public prayer for the end of abortion, with the hope that this witness will cause Planned Parenthood clients to choose life, and not go through in the choice to end their pregnancies.
40 Days National leadership says: “Now, more than ever, is the time to turn up the battle for the unborn.” To change hearts and show our support for moms who can choose life! They claim statistics show that when pro-lifers are praying outside abortion facilities, up to 75% of clients choose to cancel their appointments.
Respecting pastor’s and parishioners’ level of comfort, we are rolling out this year’s program with a two-fold approach:
On a chosen Adopted-Day, a parish may continue to participate in the peaceful, prayerful vigil on the sidewalk at 12 Case St., this year with a required larger group of four(4) participants at any time during the 12 hours of daylight timeframe, 6AM-6PM, with the idea of safety in numbers. Additionally, participants must be informed and agree that if threatened, they will not confront their aggressor, will leave immediately, and call the police.
And for those pastors and parishes not wishing to conduct the public sidewalk ministry this year, as an alternative, we are inviting parishes to adopt-a-day and conduct a pro-life parish prayer vigil at their parishes with Holy Hours for Life, Rosaries for Life, Masses for Life, etc.
We encourage you to please get involved and participate in this year’s 40 Days For Life Campaign. On the sidewalk. In your Churches. Some Parishes have already said they’re going to do both.
By Father Brian Maxwell