40 Days for Life campaign to begin
Pro-life kickoff event planned for Sept. 23
A 40 Days for Life campaign is set to kick off with a Mass at noon Sunday, Sept. 23, at St. Mary of Mercy Church, 202 Stanwix St. in Downtown Pittsburgh.
Following the Mass, celebrated by Father John McKenna, pastor of St. Mary of Mercy, a Jericho prayer march will be conducted around the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic at 933 Liberty Ave., site of the 40 Days for Life prayer vigil.
All are welcome to join the peaceful, prayerful procession, seven times around the block. The prayer walk will conclude at 2 p.m. with the sounding of a shofar, a ram's horn used in Jewish ceremonies.
The kick-off event will continue in Phil's Parking Lot, 917 Liberty Ave. In case of rain, the event will be moved to the sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church, 320 Sixth Ave.
Music will be provided by vocalist Jeanie Schalk, and speakers will include Father Timothy Kruthaupt of the Diocese of Greensburg, the Rev. Adam Stump of Lincoln Park Church of the Nazarene, and pro-life activists Robert Newman, Albert Brunn and LaToya Bicko.
Attendees will have the opportunity to sign up for vigil hours to help fill the 40-day vigil held in front of Planned Parenthood from Sept. 23-Nov. 4.
A "Father-Forgive-Them" art exhibit, depicting all 2,353 babies whose lives ended by abortion at the Planned Parenthood site in 2011, will be on display. It is scheduled to be shown at 11 Catholic parishes through December.
"The purpose of 40 Days for Life is to bring about an end to abortion by joining the body of Christ all across our nation in fervent prayer, fasting and peaceful vigils held in front of abortion clinics," said Nikki Bruni, campaign director for the Pittsburgh area.
"Using the time frame of 40 days, which is a time frame that God used many times in Scripture to transform people and nations, 40 Days for Life invites Christians of every denomination all across our nation to dedicate these 40 days to fervent prayer and fasting, asking God to bring an end to the terrible sin of abortion that has plagued our nation for almost 40 years."
The vigil involves participants giving public witness outside the abortion clinic. This involves hour-long prayer shifts.