"Big Four" Highlights


9 Days for Life

A time for prayer and action to end abortion and other attacks on life

By Brian Caulfield, FFG Editor

If you are pro-life but uncertain how to live out your convictions, the 9 Days for Life initiative is a great way to start. Sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and beginning on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017, the event is an opportunity for prayer, witness, awareness, discussion, media engagement and action that includes parish life chains and walks and marches for life.

Forty-four years after the infamous Roe vs. Wade and Doe vs. Bolton Supreme Court decisions legalized abortion at any stage of pregnancy, the pro-life movement is stronger than ever, not only protesting the wrong of abortion, but providing practical aid to pregnant women in crisis to build a culture of life.

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, has invited Catholics and others to join the nationwide 9 Days for Life campaign, which is scheduled each year to coincide with the Jan. 22 Roe and Doe anniversary.

"We’re praying for a lot of things this month, including racial harmony, Christian unity and the protection of all human life," Cardinal Dolan said. "As we pray for that unity, I invite our brothers and sisters in Christ to join in the 9 Days for Life prayer campaign. Together, our prayers and actions can witness to the dignity of the human person."

The life event runs this year from Saturday, Jan. 21 to Sunday, Jan. 29. The annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., was moved to Jan. 27 to avoid conflict with the presidential inauguration on Jan. 20.

Each day of 9 Days for Life treats a different aspect of respecting the dignity of the human person — from the beginning of life to its natural end. At a time when many are attending demonstrations and marches in person, novena participants are encouraged make a kind of “virtual pilgrimage.” In solidarity with tens of thousands, they can pray daily, gather for fellowship and discussion and share their experiences on social media with the hashtag, #9daysforlife.

The website, www.9daysforlife.com, features a video with Cardinal Dolan calling the campaign “a great way to put our faith into action.” The site offers four ways to receive the daily prayers, suggested reflections and practical actions, including links to the free 9 Days for Life smartphone app. The campaign will be featured on the People of Life Facebook page, on Twitter @USCCBprolife and in the bishops’ Instagram feed.