Praying for a culture of life

Friday, 06 January 2017

January is a particularly bittersweet month for the pro-life movement. On the one hand, Jan. 22 marks the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, the notorious Supreme Court cases that enshrined the right to abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy. On the other hand, January marks an opportunity to mourn this anniversary with a tremendous sense of hope in the power of Christ as we joyfully witness to the dignity of human life.

As we enter the month of January, I want to highlight various activities that all of us can encounter with hearts of prayer and action.

Pro-Life Mass and Nebraska Walk for Life (Jan. 14). Every year, the Nebraska Right to Life sponsors the Nebraska Walk for Life. The Walk begins at 10 a.m. on the north side of the State Capitol. Beforehand, the Nebraska Catholic Conference and the Bishops’ Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities sponsor a Pro-Life Mass at St. Mary (14th & K) which begins at 9 a.m. Most Rev. George J. Lucas, Archbishop of Omaha, will celebrate the Mass. Rebekah Buell will be the keynote speaker for the Walk, and will share about reversing her RU-486 chemical abortion. Both of these events testify to the power of our public worship and peaceful public demonstration.

Inauguration of President Donald Trump (Jan. 20). As we welcome our next president, it would be beneficial to humbly pray that President Trump would fulfill his campaign promises to ensure that unborn life is protected through the regulations and policies under his control, the laws that he signs, and the judicial appointments he makes (most especially to the Supreme Court).

9 Days for Life Novena (Jan. 21-29). Sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 9 Days for Life is an annual period of prayer and action focused on cherishing the gift of every person’s life. The main intention is to end abortion. This novena calls people across the country to gather for a unified act of prayer.

You can join the novena at and receive notifications via mobile app, e-mail, text message, or other social media platforms (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, Instagram)—or you can simply print off the novena. Invite your family, friends, or parish to join.

Anniversary of Roe v. Wade (Jan. 22). The anniversary of Roe v. Wade provides a particularly solemn moment to pray for a greater awareness of the dignity of human life from the moment of conception. This day calls us to acts of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, to do reparations and atonement for the sin of abortion in our country.

National March for Life (Jan. 27). Every year, around half a million people gather in Washington, DC, to peacefully protest legalized abortion. Having been to the March a number of times in my own life, this event is a foretaste of Heaven. Thousands of saints-in-the-making joyfully testify to the beauty of life and call our nation to something greater. While not all of us can be physically present for this event, there is no doubt we can join in spirit through our prayer, as well as ensuring that our family, friends, co-workers, parish, etc., know about this event since it receives little media coverage.

Pray at Abortion Mill. Planned Parenthood in Lincoln (48th & Old Cheney) is undergoing a resurgence in abortions. For some time, the abortion mill was without a regular abortionist. In recent months, they have hired a regular abortionist, Dr. Deborah Turner (pray for her conversion). 

A number of individuals maintain a peaceful presence outside the abortion facility, praying for conversions and counseling women who seek abortions. For those who can, join in this peaceful and physical presence on Tuesday mornings. For those who cannot, set a personal reminder to join through prayer and sacrificial acts (e.g., fasting, almsgiving, spiritual adoption).

As you consider all of these prayer possibilities and the bittersweet nature of January, recall the words of the Psalmist: “May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy! He that goes forth weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.”