FLORIDA CATHOLIC â€“ Jesus asked us all to be witnesses of our Faith and to stand up against evil.
In the coming days and weeks, the Diocese of Venice is sponsoring four Prayer Walks for Life which will serve as opportunities for people to actively participate in their faith by standing witness in prayer for life and against abortion.
The first of these walks, Jan. 17 in Port Charlotte and Jan. 21 in Sarasota, will mark the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Courtâ€™s Roe v. Wade decision which legalized abortion. The second set of walks will take place in Naples and Fort Myers during Lent in conjunction with 40 Days for Life.
Bishop Frank J. Dewane will celebrate Mass prior to each walk and participate in the prayer vigils planned at different abortion facilities.
Prayer Walks for Life have become effective tools in getting the word out that the faithful are seeking a peaceful end to the scourge on society that is abortion, said Diocese of Venice Respect Life Director Jeanne Berdeaux. â€śI encourage everyone to participate in one of the walks. They are a powerful show of unity that has a real impact.â€ť
The Jan. 17 gathering at St Charles Borromeo Parish in Port Charlotte begins an opening Mass at 8:30 a.m. Participants will then walk approximately one-half mile to pray at a local abortion site. There, students from St. Charles Borromeo School will lead a recitation of the rosary.
The prayer walk on Jan. 22 will begin at St. Martha Parish in downtown Sarasota with an opening Mass at 8:30 a.m. A shuttle bus will be provided from St. Martha to the Planned Parenthood facility about a mile away.
Each walk is an opportunity for respectful prayer outside of facilities which conduct abortions. There will be an opportunity for Eucharistic Adoration and prayer in the churches for people who are not able to participate in the actual vigils at the abortion clinics.
Lent kicks off on Feb. 22, with a Mass at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Naples at 8 a.m.Â Shuttle vans will bring participants to the nearby Planned Parenthood.
The date and location for the Fort Myers Mass and corresponding prayer walk will be announced at a later date.
The Diocese of Venice is also sponsoring youth to participate in the National March for Life on Jan. 23 in Washington, D.C. The group of 90 will be accompanied by Bishop Dewane.
Contact the Respect Life Department for more details at 941-941-484-9543.