Praying for Life

Bob Reddy – Florida Catholic

All of us must realize that a central part of Catholic Social Teaching calls for a respect for human life and ultimately the support for all life.

This was the message of Bishop Frank J. Dewane as he encouraged the faithful and students from St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School to respect life from conception to natural death prior to a Feb. 20 Prayer Walk for Life in Port Charlotte.

Bishop Dewane spoke during Mass noting the goal of the walk was to ask the Blessed Virgin Mary to push aside the scourge of abortion in the world. “We have to continue to pray, be vigilant, and speak up for the value and right to life.”

Following the Mass, the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth graders led everyone to the Prayer Walk for Life, about a half-mile to a nearby site across from an abortion doctor’s office. There, the students led a praying of the rosary.

Meanwhile, during the Lenten Season, the Spring 40 Days for Life prayer campaign has been active in Fort Myers and Naples and will continue until March 25.

The Fort Myers location, at the intersection of College Parkway and Winkler Road, about 70 people marked the midpoint of the 40 Days with a procession and prayer service near a Planned Parenthood abortion facility. The service included special guest Shawn Carney, CEO and President of 40 Days for Life.

Carney offered words of encouragement noting they were part of a larger prayer movement which was taking place in 354 cities in 25 countries. Started in 2007 in Texas, more than 14,200 babies have been saved, including 215 in the first 20 days of the 2018 Spring campaign.

“You are making an impact by your presence,” he added. “No matter the rhetoric, there are great and terrible consequences when an abortion happens. A life is lost. A great injustice is done to the mother.”

It has been reported that there is up to a 75 percent cancellation rate at the facilities when people are out praying on days when abortions are scheduled. “We need to be here,” Carney said. “To stand for life, because we cannot detach ourselves from the fact that life begins in the womb.”

The closing prayer was from Father Dennis Cooney, Pastor of St. Raphael Parish in Lehigh Acres and Diocese Respect Life Spiritual Advisor.

To learn more about Respect Life activities in the Diocese of Venice, please visit