All life is sacred! For this reason, each fall and spring hundreds gather in front of abortion facilities in the Diocese of Venice praying that unborn children can be saved from the scourge that is abortion.
The 40 Days for Life fall campaign concluded on Nov. 5, 2023, with local efforts taking place in Naples, Sarasota and Fort Myers. The campaign began Sept. 27.
Prayer warriors from Parishes and Diocesan Catholic schools stood faithfully in front of the three Planned Parenthood abortion facilities. One participant in Naples from St. John the Evangelist Parish said she participated in the prayer vigil “because we want to save lives.”
A peaceful, rather than confrontational effort the fall 40 Days for Life prayer campaign took place in more than 681 cities worldwide. The Diocese of Venice has participated since 2007, the year of the first national campaign. To date, 23,664 babies have been saved (277 during the 2023 fall campaign) and 145 abortion centers have been closed.
Many of the moms seeking help are directed to nearby pregnancy help centers. In the case of Sarasota and Naples, there are Community Pregnancy Clinics (CPCI), pro-life, free clinics that provide ultrasounds and extensive support for pregnant mothers. CPCI has medical offices in Naples, Fort Myers and Sarasota. Its mobile van was present at Fort Myers for many of the 40 days, but in particular on days when surgical abortions were scheduled.
In addition, the Diocese of Venice is also a proud partner in the “Walking with Moms in Need” initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. This program educates the Parish staff and ultimately the faithful on where to send a pregnant woman for assistance and is available in both English and Spanish.
Jeanne Berdeaux, Diocese of Venice Respect Life Director, said “Walking with Moms in Need” lets the mother know she is not alone in her journey. With the support she needs, more women will decide to parent or make an adoption plan rather than think that abortion is her only option.
“With the ‘Walking with Moms in Need’ program, the Catholic Church works alongside the pregnancy help centers, maternity homes and after birth homes as they continue to work diligently with each mom, the dad and other important family members,” Berdeaux said.
Now that the fall 40 Days for Life campaign has concluded, there will still be prayer warriors who will stand vigil in front of these local abortion facilities throughout the year. Contact your Parish respect life coordinator for details about when the nearest prayer vigil is scheduled.
Looking forward, the 40 Days for Life spring campaign begins Ash Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024, and concludes on Palm Sunday, March 24.
To learn more about how you can help protect life from conception until natural death, please visit www.dioceseofvenice.org/respectlife.