January 11, 2019


‘9 Days for Life’ prayer and action campaign a powerful tool of faith

Nine days.

That’s the amount of time our bishops in the U.S. are asking us to commit to prayer in preparation for the observance of the annual Day of Prayer for Legal Protection on Unborn Children on Jan. 22.

During this novena—from Jan. 14 through Jan. 22—we are being encouraged to make time to pray for the conversion of hearts as we continue our mission to ensure all human life is respected—from conception until natural death.

As we sadly mark the 46th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s tragic

Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions in 1973 that legalized abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy, we as a people of faith see a society where many have had a conversion of heart where life issues are concerned.

But we still see some of our fellow citizens pushing for the continuation of abortion rights, supporting assisted suicide and euthanasia, and doing all they can to put a halt to our pro-life efforts.

Sponsored by the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro Life Activities, the annual “9 Days for Life” prayer and action campaign is an opportunity for each of us to take part in something that is so simple yet can be so powerful.

And although many in the secular media will gloss over or even ignore our efforts on both the local and national levels, we cannot remain silent about life issues. Our faith implores us to not sit quietly on the sidelines as we witness injustices around us.

Each day of the “9 Days for Life” novena highlights a different intention and is accompanied by a short reflection, suggested actions and related information. Since 2013, more than 100,000 Catholics have joined together to pray this annual novena, according to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

“In addition to praying for the unborn and for an end to abortion, we will pray for respect for life at all stages: for those nearing the end of their lives, for children in need of adoptive homes, for those mourning the loss of a child through abortion, and many others,” the USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities noted about the novena.

The 9daysforlife.com website provides ways for Catholics to join the novena and to access resources. Participants can receive the novena by downloading a free “9 Days for Life” app, or by subscribing to daily e-mails or text messages. A printable version also is available online.

According to organizers, those who join the campaign are invited to pray a multi-faceted novena that includes a new intention, brief reflection, related information and suggested actions for each day. Participants also can follow “9 Days for Life” on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Nine days.

It seems like such a small amount. But our prayers and commitment offered during that time frame could make a huge difference as we continue our mission to build a culture of life.

—Mike Krokos

Wanted: Your participation in the Vigil for Life and March for Life

People of faith who want to take part in local pro-life events are encouraged to attend the annual Vigil for Life and Indiana March for Life which will take place on Jan. 21 and 22 in Indianapolis.

The Vigil for Life will take place from 7-9 p.m. on Jan. 21 at St. John the Evangelist Church, 126 W. Georgia St., in Indianapolis. The event includes praise, worship, reflections, eucharistic adoration, a eucharistic procession and the opportunity for the sacrament of reconciliation. Registration is not required, although for planning purposes it is requested. To register, go to bit.ly/2EhyNW2 (case-sensitive).

The second annual Indiana March for Life will take place the next day, on Jan. 22.

Events begin with a pre-rally at 11 a.m. in the Indiana Convention Center, 100 S. Capitol Ave., across from St. John the Evangelist Church.

Mass will be celebrated in the church at noon, with Archbishop Charles C. Thompson serving as the principal celebrant of the Mass. Lafayette Bishop Timothy L. Doherty will be a concelebrant. A memorial for the unborn, sponsored by Right to Life of Indianapolis, will take place at the same time in the Indiana Convention Center.

The march will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Georgia Street, which forms the south border of St. John’s campus and extends from the east border of the convention center.

A rally with speakers will take place on the south steps of the Indiana Statehouse at 2 p.m.

People of faith who want to stand up for life are encouraged to take part in both the vigil and the march.

—Mike Krokos

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