Upwards to forty people gathered last night in Lahaie Park, Montreal, to kick off the Forty Days for Life prayer vigil for the end of abortion.
Forty Days for Life is a twice annual prayer vigil - one in the spring time and the other in the Fall, begun five years and has grown globally with 316 vigils - 18 of which are on Canadian soil, occurring simultaneously this Fall in six countries.
Here in Montreal, this is our eighth vigil, all of which have been done across the street from the Morgentaler abortion mill.
Last night, the gusty winds of the day died to an imperceptible breeze as men and women recited prayers and listened to four speakers.
After about half hour, the group moved into a basement hall for some libations and received instructions about what etiquette to follow when present at the 40 day vigil site.
Paramount to our vigil is the maintaining a prayerful presence. To this end a code of conduct is given below to help to this end.
Code of Conduct
- I will show compassion and reflect Christ’s love to all.
- I understand that acting in a violent or harmful manner immediately and completely disassociates me from this vigil.
- I will not obstruct the driveways or sidewalk while standing in the public right of way.
- I will not block the abortion facility's entrance nor the path of anyone, including passersby, on the sidewalk; I will remain on the north side of Saint-Joseph Blvd.
- I will not litter on the public right of way.
- I will closely attend to any children I bring to the prayer vigil.
- I will not threaten, physically contact, nor verbally abuse anyone.
- I will not vandalize private property.
- I will cooperate with local city authorities.
- I will not picket nor carry any signs, pictures, displays, nor wear clothing bearing any words or images, without the consent of the organizers.
- I will maintain a spirit of prayer and refrain from judgments, debates and quarrels.
- I will refrain from unnecessary discussion with the public and with the other prayers.
- I will maintain a physical distance from others at the site whose tactics would be considered contrary to these guidelines.
Although our purpose is to pray, we are not adverse to talk with persons not associated with the vigil who approach us to ask questions or make comments. The following may help in these exchanges:
How to Share the Pro-Life Message
What is the pro-life message?
At its most basic level, the pro-life message is this:
An unborn child is a human person
whose life has value and deserves to be protected by our society.
But we also have an important message to share about how abortion harms women – and men – and about how committed the pro-life movement is to helping women face untimely pregnancies and choose life for their babies.
Ultimately, our message is a message of hope. We believe that, working together, we can transform our society into a place in which no mother will ever resort to abortion, where every child, regardless of the circumstances of his or her conception, will be welcomed and loved.
10 Guidelines for sharing the pro-life message
1. Listen – and pay attention;
2. Take time to think – and pray;
3. Always be respectful;
4. Seek common ground;
5. Make it personal;
6. Give the benefit of the doubt, and never take offense;
7. Don’t interrupt others’ conversations;
8. Pick your battles and keep it simple;
9. Admit when you lack information; and
10. Always leave the door open.