The pro-life mission is above all a spiritual battle, and our primary weapon is prayer. For that reason, the Pro-Life Action League is participating in the national 40 Days for Life campaign by sponsoring two 40 Days vigils: one on Chicago’s Northwest Side, the other in the far western suburb of Aurora.
Both of these 40 Days campaigns launched on the evening of Wednesday, September 24 with candlelight vigils. In all, over 400 pro-life faithful came together to pray for an end to abortion.
Aurora Vigil “Homecoming”
The League’s 40 Days for Life candlelight vigil in Aurora was a homecoming of sorts for 250 pro-lifers from the Fox Valley—a return to the sidewalk where a year earlier their epic battle had begun against Planned Parenthood of Aurora with another 40-day vigil.
Pastor Randy Schoof (left) and Fr. Fred Peterson lead the prayers in Aurora
[Photo by Sam Scheidler]
The 7:00 p.m. start of the vigil was slightly delayed due to initial police objections on several matters that had actually been addressed in negotiations with city attorneys over the previous year. After a few phone calls, they informed vigil coordinator Eric Scheidler he could go ahead with his plans to conduct the vigil on the sidewalk behind Planned Parenthood. By that time, more than 200 pro-lifers had arrived.
Two pro-life women pray for all mothers to choose life [Photo by Sam Scheidler]
The vigil began with the singing of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic”—a fitting start for a group launching a new spiritual battle. This was followed by scriptural readings and prayers led by Pastor Randy Schoof of Warehouse Church and Fr. Fred Peterson of St. George Church.
Then the group turned and faced the Planned Parenthood building and prayed in silence for all those involved with abortion in any way, and for a successful 40 Days. The vigil concluded with the singing of “Amazing Grace” accompanied by Eric’s son Nate on the accordion.
Solemn Rosary for Life in Chicago
Well before the Chicago candlelight vigil’s scheduled start at 7:30 p.m. at Family Planning Associates on Chicago’s northwest side, the League’s Ann Scheidler and Corrina Gura had run through all their candles and programs. The group soon numbered more than 150.
Never put limitations on God. Always ask for the big grace!
—St. Padre Pio
Bishop Francis Kane began the Chicago vigil with an opening prayer, and then led the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary with the assistance of several priests. Solemn Fourth Degree Knights in full regalia flanked the bishop. After the Rosary, musicians from Couples for Christ accompanied the singing of a fitting hymn, “Throughout these Forty Days”.
Candles line the sidewalk around Chicago’s FPA abortuary [Photo by Ann Scheidler]
To conclude the vigil, the group spread out and sorrounded the abortion facility with their candles and prayers, and sang “Amazing Grace”. The presence of three cars in the parking lot, presumably security, was a reminder to pray for the conversion of all those who work in the abortion industry.
40 Days for Life Continues through November 2
At the conclusion of both League vigils, staff and volunteers recruited more prayer warriors to pledge hours in prayer at the two 40 Days campaigns, which will run through November 2, ending only days before the general election.
News Coverage and Related Links
- “As election nears, Roman Catholic bishops try to raise awareness of Church’s opposition to abortion”—Chicago Tribune, September 26, 2008
- “One Year Later:Planned Parenthood in Aurora”—The Beacon News, September 28, 2008
- Fox Valley Families Against Planned Parenthood—Sign up to pray at Planned Parenthood Aurora and get all the latest updates on the 40 Days for Life campaign there.
- 40 Days for Life Chicago—Sign up to pray at Albany abortion clinic in Chicago and get updates on the 40 Days for Life campaign there
- 40 Days for Life National Campaign—Get all the latest news on 40 Days from across the country and sign up to get National Director David Bereit’s email updates.