Dispatches from Ground Zero

Written for Spirit Alive, the Newsletter of St. Maurice Parish…. 

The 40 Days for Life Campaign began on Parliament Hill on the evening of September 23 with over 500 people in attendance.  St. Maurice Church was well represented at the rally with Father Galen Bank and other St. Maurice parishioners giving strong words of encouragement to the assembled crowd, and challenging the participants to fervent prayer, sacrifice and fasting over these 40 days, round the clock witness.  The atmosphere could have only been described as electric. There was a palpable hope and anticipation that great things were going to occur during the course of the Vigil.  The rally ended with a subsequent procession from the Hill to the Morgentaler abortuary at 65 Bank Street where the 40 Days for Life campaign officially began.  Ottawa and Halifax are the two Canadian cities represented among 170 American cities which are joining together for the largest and longest coordinated pro-life mobilization in history.  A number of Catholic parishes within the Archdiocese of Ottawa along with many pro-life and other socially conservative groups have committed their congregations and memberships to staffing the vigil for entire days.  St. Maurice took the lead by signing up for September 25 and October 21. The response from the parishioners of St. Maurice has been strong and encouraging, to say the least. 

During the first 15 days, three babies have been saved from death.  Here is one of the stirring accounts:

As we were praying the rosary between 1:00 – 1:15 p.m., October 8, we couldn’t help but noticed a woman and child waiting outside the abortion facility. A young woman came out shortly and joined the woman and child. They looked at us, in a calm fashion, as we stood across the street. No doubt we all wondered what the girl had just experienced because she was rubbing her stomach tenderly. The little group went into McDonalds. When they came out, they crossed the street and came to speak to us directly. The woman, who turns out to be the girl’s mother, said, “She’s decided not to go ahead with this. She can’t do it.” I cannot describe the emotion that washed over me and the women with me. It was a struggle to continue to pray out loud because our tears of gratitude were getting in the way. We asked if the girl had the help she needed, and the mother replied that she herself would be helping her child.  After they left, another vigil keeper, who had finished her turn but was in the vicinity and saw us talking with the young woman, came over to see what had happened. She told us the young woman had gone into the facility at 11:00 a.m. or so. The vigil keeper went to mass at noon at St.Patrick’s and prayed for the young woman and the intentions of the Vigil. Her joy was immense when she heard like news. We can witness powerfully and pray fervently every single day for an end to abortion. Today, the Lord graced our group by revealing His mighty power in the life of a saved child.

At the time of this writing, we are not yet at the midway point, and yet God has not only blessed our prayers and supplications with victory over abortion, but conversions are occurring and the public is becoming aware.  Abortion can only exist in the darkness and the despair. When the light shines, hope appears and abortion is vanquished.  But God needs us to be that light and that hope.  The Vigil ends on November 2. Please do your part for the unborn and sign up for an hour.  Let us not be speechless when Our Lord asks us why we did not stay awake for one hour in defense of life.  To learn more about the campaign, visit http://40daysottawa.blogspot.com/.

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