Additional participants are welcome for the 40 Days for Life spring campaign that runs until March 28 in Ithaca.
The campaign began on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17. According to Mary Anne Tissot, campaign leader, constant prayer vigil has taken place daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. outside the Planned Parenthood facility at 314 W. State St. In addition, vigil participants are gathering each Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at Immaculate Conception Church, 113 N. Geneva St., to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament. They then walk to Planned Parenthood and form a peaceful group outside for further prayer.
"These two hours are geared to those who would like to come out but need folks who have been there to show them the way," Tissot said of the Saturday get-togethers. "After this, we hope people will come out on their own with their friends and/or as a group during the other hours."
This marks the second time in the past year that a 40 Days for Life campaign has taken place in Ithaca. A similar initiative was held from September to November 2009, as part of a nationwide effort that was conducted in a record 200-plus cities. The fall campaign also included a 40-day vigil outside the Rochester Planned Parenthood at 114 University Ave. Local campaigns typically feature peaceful prayer outside an area abortion facility, 40 days of prayer and fasting, and pro-life community outreach.
"Everyone can do it," added Tissot, a parishioner of Good Shepherd Catholic Community in Cayuga County. "We can all pray and fast, not necessarily from food, but anything that keeps us from growing in the Lord. This approach of prayer vigil outside a facility where abortion is committed is where we need to be. … We are now allowing ourselves to be an vessel for the Lord for these babies and mothers. We want them to know that someone cares and is there for them."
For more details about the 40 Days for Life team, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.40daysforlife.com/ithaca. Tissot also noted that people can sign up on the Web site for vigil slots.