October is Respect Life Month. Each year during October, we remember the over 53 million lives lost to abortion since 1973; and we pray for those whose lives may be devalued by the secular society—including the elderly and the disabled.
On Sunday, October 2, in cities across America, people who believe in the sanctity of life will join together in peaceful solidarity, standing along heavily traveled roads with signs reminding passersby that abortion kills children and that the Church supports the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception until the moment of natural death. The occasion is the LIFE CHAIN, a peaceful and prayerful public witness by pro-life individuals who will stand along major traffic routes, praying for our nation and for an end to abortion.
LIFE CHAIN won’t take your whole day—only about an hour. You’ll have the rest of the day to enjoy football and the family dinner, to mow the lawn, to watch a movie. People from our parish will be lining the west side of Telegraph in Dearborn Heights, Michigan, just north of Ford Road
from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. To find a location in your own city, check the LIFE CHAIN website.
Another outreach during this month of remembrance is 40 DAYS FOR LIFE, a community-based campaign that draws attention to the evil of abortion through the use of a three-point program of prayer and fasting, constant vigil, and community outreach. The 40-day campaign tracks Biblical history, where God used 40-day periods to transform individuals, communities … and the entire world. From Noah in the flood to Moses on the mountain to the disciples after Christ’s resurrection, it is clear that God sees the transformative value of His people accepting and meeting a 40-day challenge.
40 DAYS FOR LIFE runs from September 28 through November 6; so there’s still plenty of time to get involved. For information and to connect with a group in your neighborhood, check out the organization’s website.
In a statement issued September 26, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, chair of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, has called on all Catholics to pray and reflect on how each of us might renew our commitment and witness to “respecting, promoting and teaching the transcendent nature of the human person.”
“Most at risk in the culture of death,” Cardinal DiNardo said, “are the unborn child, the aging parent who some call a “burden” on our medical system, the allegedly ‘excess’ embryo in the fertility clinic, the person with a disability, the cognitively impaired accident victim who needs assistance in receiving food and water to live—each today is at risk of being dismissed as a ‘life unworthy of life.’ ”
Read Cardinal DiNardo’s full statement to learn more about specific initiatives, such as the Department of Health and Human Services’ proposed restriction on conscience protections, which concern the U.S. bishops.
During October, remember to pray in a special way for our politicians and our country, and for all of those who have in their hands the power to protect and preserve life. Join the LIFE CHAIN; join a 40 DAYS FOR LIFE prayer vigil. Attend a benefit dinner or volunteer at your local Crisis Pregnancy Center. The need is great.
Father Frank Pavone, founder and director of Priests For Life, once compared the powerful words of the Consecration to the harsh words of the pro-abortion feminist: “This Is My Body.” His insightful meditation was the impetus for this classic musical performance by the Irish singer Dana, along with Gretchen Harris and Mark Girardin.
In the song, Dana plays the role of a woman who has had an abortion. Gretchen sings as a woman who believes in the “right to choose.” And Mark plays the role of Jesus, who teaches us to sacrifice ourselves for others. They each do this using the same words, “This is My Body.”