January 15, 2016


Stand up for life in nation’s capital, at home or on a digital pilgrimage

Pro-life advocates will march again in our nation’s capital next week, sharing a message by the hundreds of thousands about our support for all life—from conception until natural death.

The theme for the Jan. 22 March for Life—“Pro-Life is Pro-Woman”—will also share an appropriate mantra that too often gets lost or misrepresented in the secular media and through other avenues.

While the starting point of the March for Life moves to the Washington Memorial grounds this year, the new venue will again attract parishioners, Catholic school students and other pro-life supporters from across the country. But they will not be the only ones standing up for life.

As reported in the Jan. 8 issue of The Criterion and again on page 6 in this week’s issue, the Archdiocese of Indianapolis will offer two events in solemn observance of the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.

The archdiocesan Secretariat of Pastoral Ministries will host a Vigil for Life on Jan. 21 at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral, 1347 N. Meridian St., in Indianapolis.

The event is from 6:30-9 p.m., and will include music, a keynote address by Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin, pro-life speakers, the opportunity for the sacrament of reconciliation, exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, and Benediction.

On Jan. 22, two Roe v. Wade observances within the archdiocese will take place, one in Indianapolis and one in Terre Haute.

The annual archdiocesan solemn observance of the Roe v. Wade decision will be held in Indianapolis at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral on Jan. 22. It will begin with a noon Mass celebrated by Archbishop Tobin, followed by a prayerful procession along Meridian and Pennsylvania streets. There will be exposition of the Blessed Sacrament for those who wish to remain in the cathedral. The observance will conclude with Benediction at 2:30 p.m. in the cathedral.

A Roe v. Wade event in Terre Haute will be a peaceful, prayerful, pro-life gathering at 1 p.m. in front of the Vigo County Courthouse located at 3rd Street and Wabash Ave.

While we commend archdiocesan parishioners traveling to Washington to take part in the national rally, we know getting to our nation’s capital for the annual gathering is not possible for everyone.

Like that rally, the archdiocesan gatherings also afford each of us opportunities to show others how embracing all life is at the heart of our faith.

Those aren’t the only ways we can show our support for life in the coming days. The U.S. bishops are asking people to participate in 9 Days for Life—a digital pilgrimage from Jan. 16-24.

You can download a novena online, or receive it through Facebook, e-mail, text message or an app. Each day you’ll be able to access new intentions, brief reflections, suggested actions and more. Sign up at 9daysforlife.com.

As part of 9 Days for Life, the bishops are also asking you to share with others what it means to embrace a culture of life. One way you can do this is by posting on social media a video—five to 15 seconds in length—of why you are participating in 9 Days for Life, how you participated that day, or what being pro-life means to you.

You can also print out a sign from the website, fill in the sentence, “Being pro-life means …,” and post a selfie with your sign.

Whether you share a video or picture, use the hashtag #9DaysforLife, and if you’re posting on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, be sure to tag @USCCB—they’ll pick the best to share!

The ultimate goal of 9 Days for Life, the bishops note, is that these prayers and actions will last well beyond January.

The digital pilgrimage is another way for us to build a culture that values every life—from conception until natural death. At the same time, it serves as a reminder that when it comes to changing hearts and minds, nothing is more powerful than prayer.

—Mike Krokos

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