Hundreds launch 40 Days for Life by candlelight

Prayer book lighted by a candleAs we were making the final preparations for last night’s Candlelight Vigil to kick off the 40 Days for Life campaign here in Aurora, our attorney Peter Breen was before the City’s Building Code Board of Appeals to witness the final rubber-stamping of our case there. At one point in the proceedings, Planned Parenthood’s attorney Chris Wilson asked that the record show that none of the appellants were present, as if to imply that the appellants, Eric Scheidler and Fox Valley Families Against Planned Parenthood, weren’t interested enough in this case to even show up. Peter told the board that if they would care to move the hearing to the building under investigation tonight, they would find hundreds of the appellants peacefully praying there. The faithful gather at the candlelight vigil.And so it was that, at 7 p.m. last night, more than two hundred pro-lifers gathered on the sidewalk behind Planned Parenthood, just as we had done last year, to begin 40 days of constant prayer and fasting for an end to abortion across this country, and specifically at Planned Parenthood Aurora. As we were setting up, several Aurora Police squad cars drove by and set up camp across the street by the apartment complex. Sargent Podschweit told us that they had not been informed of our event and were unsure whether we were allowed to be on the parkway or have amplification. Eric Scheidler assured him that our attorneys had been in touch with the City’s attorneys, and after checking with the City’s legal department, their only demand was that we not stake signs in the parkway. Father Fred and Randy Schoof lead prayerWith that out of the way, the evening began with a welcome from Eric Scheidler. Eric then led the singing of the Battle Hymn of the Republic. This beautiful hymn reminds us that, like the fight against slavery, our battle against abortion has both spiritual and political dimensions. After the hymn, Pastor Randy Schoof of Warehouse Church and Father Fredrick Peterson St. George Byzantine Catholic Church. Pastor Schoof and Father Fred led the crowd in an ecumenical prayer service for life. This beautiful prayer book alternated between Scripture readings from the clergy and written prayers about the value of life read by the faithful. Eric speaks at the vigilNext Eric offered a moving prayer for a variety of the intentions of the pro-life movement, from an end to abortion in Aurora, to the salvation of Planned Parenthood’s employees. Eric thanked God for all those who had attended the vigil, from those who had been fighting abortion before Roe v. Wade to those who were coming to a pro-life event for the very first time that evening. Then Eric called for all present to face the Planned Parenthood building and pray silently for an end to abortion there. At the conclusion of the silent prayer, the faithful joined in singing Amazing Grace, accompanied by Nate Scheidler on the accordion. A pregnant young lady and her friend prayEric offered a final thank you to all who came out and encouraged everyone to check the vigil calendar to see what hours they could fill to help make this 40 Days for Life Campaign a success. The Pro-Life Action League also hosted a vigil to kick off the 40 Days campaign at Albany abortion clinic in Chicago. Visit the League’s website for the full story on that vigil.

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