2013 is a Year of Faith for the universal Church as well as a year of prayer and penance for American Catholics because of the unique threats to life, marriage and religious freedom we face in our country.
As part of this, and to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. bishops are asking us to take part in Nine Days of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage to end abortion. This novena will take place January 19th-27th.
You can learn more at www.usccb.org/9days, where you can sign up to receive daily updates by email or you can text “9days” to the number 99000 to be notified by a daily text message.
You can preview the prayers and reflections here (but I’ve found it’s better to sign up for a daily email or text alert to remind you to do the novena each day).
This novena will focus on the theme of pilgrimage and will also include, for those who are free to participate:
- Blessings of pro-life pilgrims
(See page 10, 2012 Respect Life Program Liturgy Guide)
- Youth and young adult activities (“Pro-Life Profiles” and a high school age video contest)
- Closing Eucharistic Holy Hour
Tom Grenchik, the executive director of the USCCB’s Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities explains the inspiration and thinking behind this special pro-life novena here.
I intend to do this novena and encourage you to sign up and do it as well! As providence would have it, I’ll be headlining a pro-life rally in Phoenix, AZ with Bp. Thomas Olmsted the day this novena begins.
From coast to coast, I pray that Catholics take up this opportunity to fortify themselves with prayers, penance and pilgrimage on behalf of the unborn and their mothers and fathers!