Sign Up to Join the Bishops for Nine Days of Prayer, Penance & Pilgrimage (for Life)

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, 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:

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!



13 thoughts on “Sign Up to Join the Bishops for Nine Days of Prayer, Penance & Pilgrimage (for Life)

  1. Brian Wise says:

    A sincere question, honestly—–Millions of Catholics have been praying for 40 years now for Roe v. Wade to be overturned, for abortion to become illegal in the U.S., for the protection of all unborn babies. Are there any Catholics who can give their own personal

    1. Earl LeRoy says:

      Jas 2:14-17, 24 …what good is faith without works? We just need 10% of all the Catholics and all others that pray to stop abortion to show up on the Supreme court steps Friday January 25, 2013. Could you imagine that? That would be “millions” of people vs. the impressive but inadaquate 200-300 thousand that will be there!

      1. abadilla says:

        Trust me, there are more than 200-300 thousand pro-lifers there, there is almost a million but year after year the left-wing newsmedia who favors the likes of Sandra Fluke and Planned Parenthood refuse to inform the public that thousands of pro-lifers are marching in Washington D.C.

        1. Brian Wise says:

          Thanks for your post! But, even if the media says there are “only 300,000 Pro-Lifers at the rally”, when in fact there are 1,000,000 people there, doesn’t God KNOW that the true number is 1,000,000? Why would He “wait” for the media to give the true number? If God knows that the true number is 1,000,000, why doesn’t He then say “Yes” to all the prayers and end abortion in the U.S.? Thanks!

          1. abadilla says:

            Yes, God being omnicient knows there are 1 million souls protesting on behalf of the unborn, but we have a Church of 70 million just in this country of ours and the vast majority do not pray for the unborn. That in itself, is a shame, to say the least.
            I believe that if the media were to truly broadcast the fact that almost 1,000,000 souls show up in Washington DC to pray for the unborn and to protest Roe vs Wade, lots of people in this country would join the pro-life forces. As it is, they don’t even get to know what happens in Washington D.C. every January. Why is it the majority are now in favor of gun control? Simple, the media has sold the public that idea. How does a man get elected with 23 million people without a job? Simple, the media makes everyone believe everything is nice and dandy. How does the newsmedia ensured most people in this country will not know most os us are pro-life? Simple. They won’t show the march in most channels or newspapers!
            As for God and His ways, God’s ways are not man’s ways and why He does not bring fire and brinstone on a nation that sins by butchering the unborn, I don’t know, I wish I could tell you.

          2. Brian Wise says:

            I can believe that God is “waiting” for most or all of the 70,000,000 Catholics in the U.S. to pray for the unborn and to attend the Pro-Life Rally before He answers people’s prayers to end abortion in the U.S. However, I simply do not believe that Catholics in the U.S. are “waiting” for the “media” to “show the march in most channels and newspapers” before suddenly saying, “Oh! I should be Pro-Life, too! I think I’ll start praying for the unborn and start being a Pro-Life activist now that I have heard from the “media” that most of my fellow Americans are Pro-Life.” I’m sorry, but I just don’t “get that” at all. In my humble opinion, the reason why many Catholics/Protestants/Jews are Pro-Life and many other Catholics/Protestants/Jews are Pro-Choice has very little, if anything, to do with their religious beliefs. If it did, then virtually ALL Catholics/Protestants/Jews would be EITHER Pro-Life or Pro-Choice. I think, instead, a person’s position on this issue has to do with his/her “gut feeling” about Government involvement in people’s lives——-The Government SHOULD be involved and tell the woman what to do or not do…..OR, The Government SHOULD NOT be involved and should not tell the woman what to do or not do. Catholics and Protestants and Jews (and others) sometimes “gut-feel” the First, some “gut-feel” the Second. And, very rarely, if ever, does their Religious Belief influence this “gut-feeling” about Government involvement. That is my humble opinion, anyway. Thanks!

          3. abadilla says:

            Im not disagreeing with you. If you read my post carefully, you would know that! It was a sincere attempt to answer what I believe is an unswerable question.

          4. Brian Wise says:

            I sincerely appreciate your responses to my question! Thank you!

          5. abadilla says:

            You are quite welcome. I feel the frustration too. There are Jewish theologians still asking God, “Where were you when the Nazis were exterminating us?” Some Jewish theologians say that is the wrong question, the question should be, “Where was mankind when these horrors were happening?” Somehow I believe if most people at that time had practiced their Catholic and Protestant faiths, the Holocaust could not have taken place. The same with the butchery of the unborn. I tremble to see what will happen to the people in this forum who so agressively defend the right of a doctor and a woman to murder her child. What will they say to the Lord of Life when they get up there? “We didn’t know what we were saying?”

          6. Brian Wise says:

            Like many Catholics and people of other Faiths, I was raised to believe that God wants us to pray to Him when we “Need” something, and that He will gladly “Give” us what we “Ask” for because He loves us like a Father. I wonder sometimes if we Catholics and others are wrong about that, and that our prayers are not supposed to be about “things we want” (even including ending abortion), but that our prayers are supposed to be about God opening OUR eyes to His will for US, for OUR lives. For example, “God, I’m considering having an abortion. Please, God, help me to know Your will for me in this situation.” That type of prayer I can understand. However, I am truly at a loss for what Catholics are supposed to pray for in regards to “ending abortion in the U.S.”. Do we pray, “Please open the eyes of those who support abortion-rights”? Hasn’t that already happened? So, I can understand that prayer. But, surely we can’t pray for Pro-Choice lawmakers to be struck by lightning and killed. We can’t pray for tornadoes to destroy Planned Parenthood clinics. We can’t pray for voters to crash their cars on their way to vote for Pro-Choice candidates. If I pray, “God, please end abortion in the U.S.”, what EXACTLY am I asking God to DO? That is what I sincerely don’t understand. I think it’s not asking too much for Catholic priests and Bishops who ask us to “pray for the unborn” and to “pray to end abortion” to tell us EXACTLY what it is we are supposed to be praying. And, exactly what it is we are asking God to “do”. I may be wrong, but I think that people of the Jewish Faith don’t “pray” the way we Catholics do. I don’t think they pray for “things” or “results”. I think they simply Praise God and do the best they can to follow what they believe are the Commandments of God. I don’t think some Jews “blamed God” for “not answering their prayers during the Holocaust”. I think they “blamed” God for “turning His back on them”, those who prayed to Him and those who didn’t pray to Him. If, for whatever reason, God chose NOT to prevent the murder of 6,000,000 Jews, then maybe He has a reason for not preventing abortion in the U.S. Could THAT be why He hasn’t answered the prayers of Pro-Life Catholics for the past 40 years? I don’t know. I’m not saying we shouldn’t pray.I just think that we should know WHAT exactly we are praying FOR before we pray. I’m sorry this is so long. And, I’m sorry if my point is not clear. I truly am confused about what Pro-Lifers are supposed to be praying. And, I’m sure my confusion shows in my “rambling”. Anyway, thanks for your comments. You don’t need to respond to this one! Your comments have been very clear and I understand what you have been saying! Thanks!

          7. abadilla says:

            Hi. Brian,

            I was not able to reply sooner because I was at a retreat at Santa Barbara with 30 students and colleagues there.

            I saw first-hand the transformation God operated on many students, so I guess prayer does work. Their parents were also praying for them in Los Angeles.

            I understand how you were raised in the faith believing that God answers prayers. I have the same belief, although I must say, I don’t always understand how God moves in my own life, so, I presume whatever is going on is in the mystery of God for some reason that apparently might not make sense to me at the moment.

            I know you didn’t want me to reply but I feel the need to do so now that I just came back from the mountain in Santa Barbara, California.

      2. Brian Wise says:

        Thanks for your post! I’m guessing your answer to my question is that God is “waiting” for more Catholics to do MORE than just pray, to actually become Pro-Life “activists”. Got it. Thanks!

      3. Brian Wise says:

        Thanks for your post! I’m guessing your answer to my question is that God is “waiting” for more Catholics to do MORE than just pray, to actually become Pro-Life “activists”. Got it. Thanks!

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