September 11, 2015

Be Our Guest / Rhonda Branham

Help build a culture of life, participate in upcoming 40 Days for Life campaign

Abortion is the greatest and most tragic injustice our world faces today. It remains the leading cause of death, claiming the lives of more than a quarter of the world’s population. Sadly, the lies that are perpetuated by the abortion industry lead many souls away from God and into a state of mortal sin. Most of the world remains in the dark when it comes to the truths of abortion, and many people do not even realize that it is happening in their own backyard.

In 2004, four individuals active in the pro-life movement took a leap of faith and began a 24-hour vigil for 40 days outside their local Planned Parenthood facility in College Station, Texas. Abortions had dropped by 28 percent during this time of prayer and fasting. The momentum from this one-time vigil created an explosion into the most powerful and effective pro-life crusade this world has ever seen. Forty Days for Life is an international campaign committed to converting hearts and saving lives through prayer and sacrifice.

Mothers contemplating abortion anguish over the decision to abort their unborn babies, and many pray for a sign to help them make this most difficult decision. When mothers approach the clinics where volunteers are praying outside, they receive their sign and realize that this is not God’s will.

Even after mothers walk into the clinics, the powerful image of volunteers praying outside is sometimes enough to cause a change of heart. And for those mothers who walk out of the clinic after having an abortion, they can see God’s endless mercy on the loving faces of the volunteers praying for them.

Since the first coordinated 40 Days for Life campaign in 2007, local campaign leaders have witnessed God’s answers to their prayers. There have been 3,588 total campaigns in 579 cities and 30 countries. A total of 650,000 individuals and 17,500 churches have participated, and 118 abortion workers have quit their jobs and 60 abortion facilities have permanently closed. And the greatest blessing of all—well over 10,000 lives have been saved from abortion!

The Catholic Church firmly teaches that “human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. Since the first century, the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law. Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, # 2270-2272).

It is not enough for a Catholic to simply say, “I am pro-life.” Billions of innocent and defenseless human lives have been tragically lost worldwide because so many people feel that it is not their place to interfere with a woman’s right to choose.

As followers of Christ, we are called to live our faith through our prayers, sacrifices and our witness to the truth. We are all called to be a voice for the voiceless, to reach out to mothers who are troubled and need spiritual direction, and to vote for leaders who will defend all human life from the moment of conception to natural death.

Please consider participating in the upcoming 40 Days for Life campaign on Sept. 23 through Nov. 1 in Bloomington, Indianapolis or Fishers. You can sign up at

If we live our Catholic faith and stand up for the truth, God will convert hearts and transform our world into a loving culture of life.

(Rhonda Branham is a member of St. John the Apostle Parish in Bloomington.)

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