WASHINGTON (CNS) — A "9 Days for Life" novena taking place around the Jan. 22 anniversary of the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion virtually on demand aims to unite Catholics in prayer, penance and pilgrimage.
The Jan. 17-25 novena "offers a chance to join in prayer and solidarity with the unborn, victims of violence, those suffering from addiction, and those whose hearts ache to be part of a family," said Boston Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The novena is part of the USCCB’s 2014-15 Respect Life Program with the theme "Each of Us Is a Masterpiece of God’s Creation," adapted from Pope Francis’ 2013 Day for Life greeting.
In addition to the prayer intentions, each day of the novena aims to raise awareness on issues such as domestic violence, post-abortion healing, pornography addiction and end-of-life matters. More information is available at www.9daysforlife.com.
"Pope Francis reminds us constantly of the loving concern Christians have for all people at any stage of life who’ve been cast aside or forgotten by society," Cardinal O’Malley said in a statement.
There are four ways to participate in the novena for both English and Spanish speakers: by subscribing to daily content through email or via text messages; using the "9Days for Life" app; and accessing downloadable print materials. Content also will be shared on Facebook at www.facebook.com/peopleoflife and other social media with the hashtags #9daysforlife and #9diasporlavida.
Catholics are also encouraged to participate in local events such as Masses, blessings for pro-life pilgrims, or a parish Holy Hour for reparation and healing for all affected by abortion.
Bilingual resources for diocesan and parish leaders, including a guide for youth ministry, logos, ads for the Web and for print, a flier, additional prayer resources, and a social media kit can be found at www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/january-roe-events/9-days-for-life-resources-for-leaders.cfm.
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