40 Days for Life concludes, impacts lasting Print this post

Bob Reddy – Florida Catholic


Throughout the peaceful 40 Days for Life prayer vigil there was a constant presence of dedicated people who stood witness at locations in Fort Myers and Sarasota.

These sentinels served as reminders that we are all called to stand up and be a witness for the peace of Christ when there is an injustice in the world; there is no greater injustice than that of killing of the unborn through abortion.

Participants in the 40 Days for Life prayer vigil cross a major intersection in Fort Myers on Oct. 27, participants included students from Bishop Verot Catholic High School.

During a Mass at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Fort Myers on Oct. 27, Bishop Frank J. Dewane commended those who stood witness during the 40 Days campaign, saying that they stood firm in their beliefs even though they may have been subject to scorn or ridicule. “Jesus warned us that some would not agree with us if we followed His teachings.”

“The taking of the life of the unborn is not part of Christ’s teachings,” Bishop Dewane continued. “Abortion is a targeted attack on a vulnerable group of human beings, and damages the mother, the father, and our society. Knowing this, we must respond!”

More than 150 people participated in a 40 Days for Life prayer vigil on Oct. 27 in Fort Myers, including students from the Bishop Verot Catholic High School’s Catholics In Action, as well as Bishop Frank J. Dewane.

The response has come in the form a record numbers of people participating in the daily vigil. The 40 Days for Life vigil is organized with the goal of having at least one or two people in front of abortion facilities each day from Sept. 27 through to Nov. 5.

During the Oct. 27 vigil in Fort Myers, Bishop Dewane was joined by more than 150 people who gathered in front of the Planned Parenthood facility at the corner of College Parkway and Winkler Road, including the Catholics In Action student club from Bishop Verot Catholic High School. Students carried the 40 Days for Life banner and a statue of Our Lady of Fatima, which is a symbol for hope during this 100th Anniversary of the Fatima revelations.

The Knights of Columbus Color Corps led the group from a nearby parking facility to the abortion facility. There the people gathered carried signs praying for an end to abortion. Other signs read: “SMILE! Your Parent Chose LIFE!” “Women Regret Lost Motherhood.” “Respect Life: from the Womb to the Tomb.”

As part of Respect Life Month in October, the Diocesan Respect Life Office held an “End of Life Decisions: A Catholic Perspective” seminar on Oct. 28 at St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Port Charlotte.

Deacon Al Mauriello, M.D., speaks during a Diocese Respect Life Office End-of-Life Decisions: A Catholic Perspective seminar on Oct. 28 at St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Port Charlotte.

During the seminar, Deacon Al Mauriello, M.D., and F. Michael Gloth, M.D., both of Naples, shared their expertise and answer questions about Catholic Bioethics, medical ethics, the need for a living will and health care power of attorney, as well as about end-of-life care and what the Church teaches. About 80 people attended this informative event.

On Oct. 5, to coincide with the execution of a Florida Death Row inmate, there were prayer vigils at six parishes seeking an end to the death penalty

Respect Life activities are taking place in the Diocese throughout the year. There are weekly prayer vigils at the three Planned Parenthood abortion facilities within the Diocese as well as plans for a large group to attend the National March for Life in January in Washington, D.C.

To learn more, please visit www.dioceseofvenice.org/respectlife or email berdeaux@dioceseofvenice.org.

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