September 21, 2007

‘40 Days for Life’ prayer campaign targets abortion

By Mary Ann Wyand

Pray and fast like your life depends on it to help save the lives of unborn babies.

Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary parishioner Eric Slaughter of Indianapolis and St. Bartholomew parishioner Eileen Hartman of Columbus hope Catholics in central and southern Indiana will do just that—faithfully for 40 days from Sept. 26 until Nov. 4—because unborn babies’ lives are at risk.

Slaughter and Hartman, who is executive director

of the Great Lakes Gabriel Project, are co-chairing the archdiocese’s first-time participation in the national “40 Days for Life” ecumenical prayer campaign that targets abortion-minded women and men as well as abortion providers.

The pro-life campaign combines prayer and fasting in the home with peaceful prayer vigils outside abortion centers and community outreach through education.

Servants of the Gospel of Life Sister Diane Carollo, director of the archdiocesan Office for Pro-Life Ministry, said “ ‘40 Days for Life’ properly addresses the spiritual problem of abortion through prayer and sacrifice.”

She said the ultimate pro-life goal is that all those associated with the practice of abortion may experience conversion, repentance and spiritual healing.

“ ‘40 Days for Life’ is the coming together of Christians of different traditions to witness to the tragedy of abortion in the United States,” Slaughter explained. “… This display of Christian witness will cause people to consider abortion in a way they have not before.”

Slaughter, who also chairs the Abba Father Chapter of Catholics United for the Faith in the archdiocese, said it will take “something big” to end the holocaust of abortion in the U.S.

In the archdiocese, the “40 Days for Life” prayer vigil will peacefully focus on the state’s busiest Planned Parenthood abortion center at 8590 Georgetown Road in Indianapolis.

The prayer vigil will begin at 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 23 with a procession from the St. Augustine Home for the Aged, 2345 W. 86th St., in Indianapolis and will end at 4:30 p.m. after a procession to the Planned Parenthood abortion center on Georgetown Road. Participants may stay at the St. Augustine Home chapel or on the grounds to pray or join in the prayerful procession.

Hartman said some cities have reported as much as a 28 percent drop in local abortions after this prayer vigil.

“We want people to be aware that the annual report for Planned Parenthood of Indiana for 2006 shows that 5,122 children lost their lives to abortion that year,” she said. “We know that coming out to pray at an abortion center is not an easy thing to do. … We have to take this step with faith that God will use this campaign to help women and families in crisis pregnancies and begin the process to end abortion in our country.”

(For more information about “40 Days for Life,” call 317-213-4778, log on to or send an e-mail to†


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