(Day 13 - 148 Saved Babies)
While reading today's Office of Readings, I was carried back to this past weekend's experience at the 40 Days for LIfe vigil location.
In the book of Exodus, the angel of the Lord protected the Hebrew people from Pharaoh's army by placing itself between the two camps. So, too the vigilers outside the Morgentaler abortion facility in Montreal were protected by the angel of the Lord from the local secular climate via the harsh weather conditions of this past weekend.
Saturday's strong winds and Sunday's cold temps dampened many spirits safe those of the prayers coming to stand and pray for life. Of these, many travelled from afar - Pincourt, Longueuil, and Laval, to spend several hours at the vigil location in Lahaie park.
Also, the site is drawing diverse prayer groups. On Saturday, six members of a Lasalle faith-based group came to spend the afternoon, with a pot of soup for all to partake in, while on Sunday members of St. Patrick's youth group were on hand. (At the kick-off, a Côte-des-Neiges couples group were on hand vowing to return.)
Finally, in addition to groups, the vigil is a magnet for individuals who otherwise do not see one another. For example, over the weekend, persons from different faith communities converged to pray and share fellowship.
The vigil runs through April 1, daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Yesterday I learned that we had breached the three figure threshold (101) and today the count stands at 121 saved babies.
Thank you every body. Your prayers are making the difference.
Here in Montreal, we are not aware of any turn arounds. Yet, we stand strong at the corner of St. Joseph and St. Laurent Blvds, advocating for a culture of life.
Via our banner, prayers, and outreach, we are hoping to bring God's message of love to many who have lost the joy of living.
Even in yesterday's snowstorm, our message was getting out. A few among us engaged the pedestrians of the Main, many of whom were vehemently opposed to our presence in such a public venue. We can only pray that God touches their hearts, permitting them to turn and walk with Him in the fulness of life.
Union de prière!
Day 2 at the "40 Days for Life" prayer vigil was pretty barren.
The number of participants was half that of the previous day - 11 compared to 22. The weather progressily got worse as the day went on; a snow squall hit the park at around 3 p.m. And even the pro-choice crowd remained away. Pretty stark day.
Yet, anyone familiar with deserts knows well that it is teaming with life. The "barren" afternoon - no one had register from noon until 7 p.m., indeed was not devoid of life.
First there were the moments of solitude. I was blessed. Prayer and reverie brought me to the foot of the Cross or in the garden of Gethsemane. Hymns buoyed my spirit.
Also, an elderly woman passing by, went out of her way to give me words of encouragement.
Then the first in a series of non-scheduled prayers showed up. At 2 p.m. Barbara arrived and together we chatted and prayed and before we knew it, it was already 4 p.m.; time for her to leave. An hour passed before a second prayer warrior showed up - Yves, and at 6 p.m. a third, jerome replacing Yves.
We fellowshiped and it was 6:55 p.m.; five minutes to go. After a final prayer of gratitude, we closed up shop, gathering the site's belongings. Day was done.
I'm writing this from an internet cafe on Parc Avenue - I have a two hour break... until noon.
Great day yesterday. Gruelling yet full of grace.
I spent eleven hours at the site yesterday and received many blessings, much positive stuff. Foremost was the trinkling of folks to the site to pray. Some came for five to ten minutes while others stayed for an hour or two. And this went on for the entire day - from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Most came alone - Jean, Gabriel, James, Emilia,..., but others came in groups - a young couple from Verdun with their parents who are visiting from Brazil.
Also, had a couple to registrations. One man has offered to covered two two-hour slots per week and another couple will take an hour block on March 3rd. Slowly that schedule is filling.
Our nieghbours (the counter-protesters) showed up at 4 p.m. and stayed a couple of hours. The same lot we are familiar with. Jovial. Free bagels may have been an incentive from many. I felt hostility by one of the thirty or forty that showed up during this time. They have invested in a new banner, stitching similar to our own. I wonder how they bought it...
The 7th edition of a twice-a-year international prayer vigil for the end of abortion is kicking off this evening at 7pm in Lahaie Park (at the intersection of Saint-Laurent and Saint-Joseph boulevards), across the street from a Montreal abortion clinic.
Along with 257 other cities across the world, this "40 Days for Life" vigil, which will take place at Lahaie Park daily from 7am until 7pm from February 22nd until April 1st, aims to peacefully and prayerfully inform the public at large about the damage abortion has done to society.
Organised in Montreal by the Quebec Life Coalition (QLC), this year's vigil coincides with a new abortion defunding initiative spearheaded by QLC. This initiative will run alongside the 40 Days for Life right up until April 30th, the end of the tax season.
In the days leading up to the beginning of the 40 Days for Life prayer vigil, I hope to profile the fourteen locations in Canada where vigils will be held. Today, I present the fourth in the series - Ottawa, Ontario.
In Ottawa, organizers are coordinating their fifth vigil. Visitors to their web site, click here, will be impressed by the novelty of several of their initiatives.First, the kick-off is set on the grounds of the federal legislative building - Parliament Hill. How many other campaigns can make that claim!
For the kick-off, set for Sunday September 25, vigilers will gather for 7:00 p.m. at Centennial Flame on the Hill. (Originally it was scheduled for the steps of the Parliament building but was displaced because Greenpeace protestors are awaited the following day and the RCMP need time to install barricades.)
Before proceeding in candlelight procession to the abortuary on Bank Street, those present will participate in prayer and listen to several invited guests. First, local Ottawa valley musician and artist Mr. Marcel Dion will lead those assembled in chanting Vespers - evening prayer. Afterwards, Ms. Ruth Lobo, Carleton University student and president of the university's pro-life club, Carleton Lifeline, and Ms. Doris Gagnon, founder and coordinator of local chapter of the Helpers of God's Precious Infants, will address the audience.
A second novel feature of the Ottawa 40-day vigil is the Proclamation of the Word. Occurring daily, between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., for the durationof the vigil and done across the street from the abortion facility, Holy Scriptures will be read. Beginning with the book of Genesis and running through to Revelations, proclaimers will announce the word of God to persons in the vicinity of the abortuary.
Campaing Life Canada (CLC) representative Paul Lauzon says that National Coordinator for 40 Days for Life, Mr. David Bereit, has taken an active interested in this project. He likes the idea and and is considering to suggest that it be done nationally.
A third twist to the Ottawa campaign is its outreach program. For various reasons, many persons are unable to visit the vigil location. Hence, two programs have been initiated to permit them to participate, in the measure that they can. The first allows persons to register on line for a specific prayer period, much in the same manner that those travelling to site can. The second initiative is a visitation program whereby volunteers with kits go out into the community to visit shut-ins and others to foster prayer.
Further details regarding these programs and the vigil may be had by visiting the web site or by calling the CLC office (613-729-0379) or by calling vigil coordinator Jennifer (613-835-4201).
The number keeps rising.
At this moment, beginning next Wednesday, September 28, the total number of 40 Days for Life vigil locations will be 301. This is up from the 297 of two weeks ago and the 247 from this past spring 2011. Quite an amazing growth considering the movement began only five years ago in a small college town in Texas.
Like a plant speading its roots and sprouting new stems, the pro-life vigil has arisen in 46 new locations. Thank God for the good sense of the ordinary citizen.
A full account of the activities at the 40 Days for Life site are available here.
Prayer warriors Wanted!
Start date: September 28.
Flex hours. Work at home, in church, or at the park.
Shifts: Morning, afternoon, and evening shifts available!
Work an hour or two, or as many as you wish!
To register, click here. (If you are a new user, sign in.) Peruse the schedule. Select an empty slot or one that works best for you. And register.
Not sure about registering, then just show up - Lahaie Park, opposite the Morgentaler abortion mill (30 Saint-Joseph Blvd. East, cross street Saint-Laurent.)
Pray silently alone or join the folks who are already there.
Cannot make it down to the park, pray at home, in your church, in your car, as you walk along. Any time – morning, afternoon, evening. lt all counts... for 40 days.
Make up your own prayer or use ours:
We pray that the scourge of abortion be lifted from our land,
That those who promote it may be brought to a change of heart,
That all who are tempted to abortion may be lovingly helped to protect the precious gift of life,
And that all who have experienced an abortion may be comforted with the healing gift of love.
We ask this through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Get your family, your friends, your church involved.
The unborn need you. The mothers-to-be need you.
Remember what God said: “He who honours me, I will honour him.” - 1 Sam,
Don't hesitate; 40 days runs by quickly.
Start date: September 28
40 Days for Life in Montreal
For all those interested in participating in one way or another in the 40 Days for Life in Montreal, or for those who simply want to know more about this lifesaving effort, tomorrow, Wednesday August 17 at 6PM, there will be a first 40 Days for Life meeting for Montreal. The meeting will take place at the rear of Saint-Emile church, located at 3330 Rivier (5 minutes' walk from the Joliette metro stop).
What: First 40 Days for Life meeting for Montreal
When: tomorrow, Wednesday, August 17 at 6PM
Where: 3330 Rivier, at the rear of Saint-Emile church, 5 minutes' walking distance from the Joliette metro stop
40 Days for Life in Quebec City
All who are interested in participating in the 40 Days for Life in Quebec city are asked to forward their email address and phone number to Christina, who is the head organiser of the 40 Days in Quebec City. Her email is: [email protected]
A first organisational meeting will be scheduled very soon!
For those of you unfamiliar with the “40 days for Life” concept, this is an INTERNATIONAL movement aimed at ending the practice of abortion. A 40 Days for Life campaign consists of 40 days of prayer and fasting combined with a constant, round-the-clock vigil at an abortion facility and proactive community outreach. The praying and fasting may be done outside abortion facilities or elsewhere where people of faith feel more comfortable to assemble. In either case, the aim is the same: to end this deadly and destructive practice.
First begun in 2004 in College Station, Texas, this forty day vigil has spread like wildfire both across the United States and across the world. For example, this past spring, 2011, there were 247 vigil locations occurring simultaneously in ten countries, with ten vigils in Canada.
These vigils are definitely having an immediate impact. Women in large numbers are deciding not to carry through with an abortion and are deciding to spare the lives of their unborn children. For example, during this past spring, 2011 vigil there were at least 483 reports of babies saved from abortions whereas at the end of fall, 2011, vigil, 541. These represent mothers who would have aborted their children if they had not seen one or more persons praying outside the abortion facility that she was about to enter.
The benefits of the vigil do not end there. For one, many abortion facilities have closed their doors permanently due to the praying that is going outside their doors.
Still another benefit of this continuous 40 days praying is the effect it is having on the hearts of many involved. Over the years, more than a few employees – nurses and staff have decided to resign their positions at these abortion facilities. Not only that but in the Fall 2009, pro-lifers witnessed something incredible; the manager of an abortion facility crossed the life line. Abby Johnston, the manager of the College Station Planned Parenthood, walked out of her office and centre joining pro-lifers in front of her facility after assisting the abortionist in a ultrasound-aided abortion. She relates her experience of having seen the foetus move away from the abortionist instruments during the procedure in a book entitled “UnPlanned.”
Here in Montreal, this will be the sixth edition of our 40-day, 12-hour per day prayer vigil. Quebec Life Coalition president Georges Buscemi began the first vigil in the spring of 2009. He and his stalwart crew braved the cold elements and the apathy within our community to deliver the all-important message to our fellow community members – Abortion kills a Human Being.
This past spring the apathy took a surprising swing. For the better part of the vigil, those praying outside of the Morgentaler facility on St. Joseph Blvd. were shadowed by counter-protesters. These people, varying in number between three and twenty and mostly twenty- somethings and present several hours each day, would promote the prochoice message alongside our own signs and banners.
Yet, our Lord is good in all things. I consider it a blessing to have had these young people there for it is an opportunity for us to witness to them the love of God and to carry the evangelical message of hope and love to them as well as to the motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians. As the apostle Paul puts it, the sufferings of this age is nary to be compared to the glory to come. So if we can be witnesses of love and peace to these young folk, not to mention the more audacious and boisterous and belligerent passer-by, it will be counted to our credit and to the credit of the One who is our all.
Lastly, I have been informed that there will be a second vigil occurring in La Belle Province: Quebec City will be undertaking its first vigil. Details remain to be worked out in terms of the site and hours. Stay in tune to our website (www.cqv.qc.ca/en/40days) for details.