WASHINGTON — In marking the “sorrowful anniversary” Jan. 22 of the Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing abortion nationwide, the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life committee stated the Catholic Church’s pastoral response to all mothers in need “will soon intensify.”
The nation’s Catholic bishops are being asked to invite the parishes in their dioceses to join a nationwide effort called “Walking with Moms in Need: A Year of Service” from March 25 of this year through March 25, 2021.
Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, announced the new initiative on the National Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children. The new program has its own website:
The archbishop noted that the special day of prayer marks the “tragic” Supreme Court decisions of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton of Jan. 22, 1973.
“The Church will never abandon her efforts to reverse these terrible decisions that have led to the deaths of millions of innocent children and the traumatization of countless women and families,” Archbishop Naumann wrote.
“As the Church and growing numbers of pro-life Americans continue to advocate for women and children in courthouses and legislatures,” he stated, “the Church’s pastoral response is focused on the needs of women facing pregnancies in challenging circumstances. While this has long been the case, the pastoral response will soon intensify,” with the yearlong service project “Walking with Moms in Need.”
In “recognizing that women in need can be most effectively reached at the local level,” Archbishop Naumann explained, the year of service “invites parishes to assess, communicate, and expand resources to expectant mothers within their own communities.”
The U.S. bishops will be providing “resources, outreach tools and models to assist parishes in this important effort,” he said.
“We pray that ‘Walking with Moms in Need: A Year of Service’ will help us reach every pregnant mother in need, that she may know she can turn to her local Catholic community for help and authentic friendship,” the archbishop added.
‘9 Days for Life’ prayer, action campaign builds a culture of life
By Catholic News Service
— Catholics across the country took part in the 9 Days for Life, a
novena for the protection of human life. Each day’s intention is
accompanied by a short reflection and suggested actions to help build a
culture of life.
The pro-life novena, sponsored by the Committee
on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops,
coincides with the annual March for Life that takes place in Washington
every January to mark the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v.
Wade decision legalizing abortion across the country.
if you can’t come to D.C., you can join others to witness and pray for
an end to abortion,” said Kat Talalas, assistant director for pro-life
communications at the USCCB. “We ask all of the faithful to unite in
prayer to protect the rights of unborn children, to end the violence of
abortion, and for greater respect for human life.”
Talalas, thousands of Catholics across the country signed up for 9 Days
for Life. By signing up online at 9daysforlife.com, participants
received a daily prayer intention, a reflection and suggested actions
via email, text or through an app.
The novena encompasses the
annual Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children Jan.
22, the day the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Roe and its
companion case, Doe v. Bolton. The USCCB pro-life committee began the
novena in 2013 in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Roe.
“9 Days for Life” website also has materials, in English and Spanish,
for parish leaders to share, including a daily intercession, prayers, a
reflection, “acts of reparation” and “one step further,” describing one
more suggested action for novena participants to take.