February 26, 2021

Editorial

40 Days for Life campaign can be a season of hope

Are you a person of hope?

That question, which recently came to mind after reflecting on a homily, is a simple one. But for many of us, there is no simple answer.

Perpetual turmoil appears to be the norm on the political landscape in our nation’s capital—and in several states across the U.S. for that matter. Many are still concerned about the civil unrest that occurred in many cities last summer, and in Washington at the U.S. Capitol in early January. And we continue to hope and pray we make positive strides as we battle the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left more than 500,000 Americans dead and many families reeling that have been adversely impacted by the illness.

Some may ask: How can “hope” be a part of any conversation when we are dealing with so much turmoil?

The Lenten season is a time of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, a time to closely examine our lives of faith and how we can become more Christ-like in all we say and do.

But maybe this year it can also become a season of hope through our actions and prayers.

Our faith teaches us we are to be a people of hope. And the 40 Days for Life campaign happening now offers us a unique opportunity to plant seeds of faith, hope and love where the unborn are concerned.

We’ve heard the statistics, and they are staggering: Since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion on demand in 1973, more than 62 million unborn babies have been aborted.

The 40 Days for Life spring campaign, which runs from Feb. 17-March 28, is an international effort that seeks to end abortion through peaceful prayer vigils at abortion centers, and to raise community awareness of the consequences of abortion. An annual 40 Days for Life campaign also occurs each fall.

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

For those who think these petitions don’t make a difference, think again: According to 40 Days for Life officials, since 2007 when the campaign began, 18,017 lives have been saved, 211 abortion workers have quit and 109 abortion centers have closed. And since the 40 Days for Life campaign began last week, 15 unborn babies have already been saved from the tragedy of abortion—thanks be to God!

As in years past, there are 40 Days for Life sites located in central and southern Indiana and around the surrounding region for those interested in prayerfully standing up for life. All campaigns are in need of volunteers to sign up to pray.

In Bloomington, the campaign will take place outside of the Planned Parenthood abortion center at 421 S. College Ave. To participate, call your parish to see if there is a 40 Days for Life coordinator, or go to www.40daysforlife.com/bloomington to sign up. For more information, contact Deacon Russell Woodard of Holy Trinity Parish in Edinburgh at 317-759-1225 or deaconrussw@gmail.com.

The Central Indiana 40 Days for Life campaign will take place on the public right-of-way outside of the Planned Parenthood abortion facility at 8590 Georgetown Road in Indianapolis. A midpoint rally will be held there from 1-2 p.m. on March 7. Parking is available on the shoulder on both sides of Georgetown Road, just south of the Planned Parenthood facility. Do not park in the lots of neighboring businesses, including Women’s Care Center.

This year, the Indianapolis campaign is offering 24-hour coverage by inviting participants to sign up for an hour to pray at home between 7 p.m.-7 a.m. on Monday through Saturday, and 7 p.m. on Saturday through noon on Sunday. This is a great option for seniors, those who are sick, those who don’t drive and those who are concerned about being exposed to others due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

To participate either in-person or at home, call your parish to see if there is a 40 Days for Life coordinator, or sign up at www.40daysforlife.com/indianapolis. For more information, contact Tim O’Donnell at 317-372-0040 or idipsumsapere@me.com.

For more information or to sign up at sites outside of the archdiocese, go to www.40daysforlife.com and click on “Find a Campaign.”

Those who take part in 40 Days for Life campaigns are encouraged to follow the COVID-19 protocols in their local area. For most, that will mean wearing a mask and keeping 6 feet apart to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Through our prayers and actions during the 40 Days for Life campaign, we can bring tremendous hope by being voices for the voiceless this spring.

And in the process, God willing, change minds and hearts.

—Mike Krokos

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