March 1, 2019


Now more than ever, we must step up for the unborn

It arrives later on the calendar this year, but the Lenten season is nearly upon us.

While Catholics and people of some other faith traditions will have their foreheads marked by ashes on Wednesday, March 6, we also begin our six-week penitential journey of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

There will be those of us who add time each day to our life of prayer, others who will fast from a favorite food or dessert, and others who will volunteer their time to assist our brothers and sisters in need.

But if early 2019 is any indication, ratcheting up our efforts to protect the unborn would also be a worthwhile Lenten practice.

The attacks on the unborn are reaching unprecedented levels. In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation in January that effectively removed all restrictions on abortion in that state. Other states have been considering similar legislation, and it should alarm us that lawmakers in powerful positions are making life‑and‑death decisions that should not be part of their agenda.

With this in mind, we are again encouraging people of faith to take part in the upcoming “40 Days for Life” campaign that kicks off on March 6 and runs through April 14. It will be held in 377 cities around the world, including in Indianapolis and Bloomington in the archdiocese.

40 Days for Life is an international campaign that seeks to end abortion through peaceful prayer vigils at abortion centers, and to raise community awareness of the consequences of abortion.

During the 40-days campaign, individuals silently pray during one-hour time slots in front of abortion centers around the world.

The Central Indiana (Indianapolis) 40 Days for Life campaign takes place on the public right-of-way outside the Planned Parenthood facility at 8590 Georgetown Road. A kickoff rally will be held at 2 p.m. on March 3 at St. Luke the Evangelist Church, 7575 Holliday Dr., E., in Indianapolis. Mark Tuttle, president of the Right to Life of Indianapolis, will be the speaker. For more information on 40 Days for Life efforts in Indianapolis, contact Tim O’Donnell at 317-372-0040

The peaceful prayer vigil in Bloomington takes place on the public right-of-way outside the Planned Parenthood facility at 421 S. College Ave. An opening prayer service, led by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, will be held at 9 a.m. on March 6. For more information about 40 Days for Life efforts in Bloomington, contact Monica Siefker at 812-330-1535, 812-345-7988, or

This prayer initiative, held in the spring and fall each year, does make a difference. Since the national 40 Days for Life campaign was launched in 2007, 15,256 lives have been spared from abortion, 194 abortion workers had conversions and quit their jobs, and 99 abortion centers where 40 Days for Life vigils have been held have closed their doors. Talk about the power of prayer!

When it comes to life issues, there is plenty of rhetoric being shared by countless voices. Many are shared with good intentions, others with an agenda designed to bring more chaos and divisiveness to these situations. It takes much work on our part to cut through the noise to get to the truth.

Our faith teaches us to respect all human life—from conception to natural death. The 40 Days for Life effort gives us a unique opportunity to do just that.

And during this upcoming Lenten season and beyond, that is a simple, unwavering truth we must always defend.

—Mike Krokos

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