Michael and Barbara, participants of the Vigil 365 - Photo: Joanne of Arc
We hear a lot about the importance of creating good habits for a healthy and balanced life, such as taking a walk, eating well or going to bed at the same time. For most of us, we put a lot of effort into having a better quality of life. But how many people really care about life? I am referring to life at one of its most vulnerable stages: at the moment of conception.
Every morning of the year, a Vigil is held near the Berri-UQAM metro station. It was initiated in February 2020 by its organizer Brian Jenkins. People meet to pray for life and honor the unborn. In this case, it is not just a weekly good habit, but an important discipline in their spiritual lives.
In addition to praying together, the participants of the Vigil are often approached for a discussion. Sometimes, the people that are passing by are open-minded and want to understand what the participants are saying, at other times the discussions are rather difficult or even turn into personal accusations.
I had the opportunity to attend Vigil 365 and observe the interactions that took place during one morning this week. The participants also took a moment to chat with me and explain their motivations.
Michael attends the Vigil because he believes abortion is a grave injustice. He shared this with me: "There are many injustices that take place around the world, but most of them don't happen where I live. So this is something I can and should be involved in where I live. "
As to why the group chose this hectic location to pray, he tells me, "This corner we're on is kind of a contradiction in itself. There is an abortion clinic at the end of this street, around the other corner is UQAM University which is one of the most liberal universities in Montreal, and on the other side is the gay village which promotes promiscuity."
Ironically, there is also the beautiful Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes chapel in front of the UQAM University building, adorned with a golden statue of the Virgin Mary, which is in the center of all this activity.Read more