OTTAWA, November 4, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – While Monday marked the official close of the North American 40 Days for Life campaign, many pro-life leaders say they expect the campaign was really the start of something much bigger. This is true especially in Ottawa, the only Canadian city to participate in the pro-life effort, where the overarching success of the campaign has spurred many campaign leaders to believe that one day Canada will host a nationwide 365 Days for Life.
40 Days for Life is an intensive pro-life campaign that features 40 days of prayer and fasting, peaceful vigil at abortion facilities, and grassroots educational outreach. The 40-day time frame is drawn from examples throughout Biblical history where God brought about world-changing transformations in 40-day periods.
Over 500 people showed up to the closing rally in Canada’s capital to hear special addresses from Archbishop Prendergast of Ottawa and Debbie Fisher from the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, and above all, celebrate an incredibly successful 40 Days for Life in Ottawa. After the speeches, the vigil participants processed by candlelight from the Abortion mill to a packed St. Patrick’s Basilica for Mass and a reception.
John Pacheco of 40 Days for Life was thrilled with the campaign’s results. He reflected on how 750 people helped hold a 960-hour continuous vigil in front of the Morgentaler abortuary on Bank Street in Ottawa, helping change the hearts of hundreds of men and women and literally saving the lives of at least three babies.
“Over the last 40 days, some 750 vigilers braved the rain, wind, cold, snow, and sleepless nights to witness to the Dignity of the unborn,” recounted Pacheco. “Some of us were violently assaulted; and many of us were verbally abused. But we did not return the insult and we didn’t raise our hand. We remained in solidarity with the unborn in their silent holocaust, and, as a result, the sacred cows of the pro-abortion propaganda were exposed. Many people were touched and a few were converted.”
While the tangible statistics of the campaign give great hope to the pro-life crowd, Pacheco believes the best is yet to come:
“While I was praying outside the Mill around 2AM on Saturday morning (and accompanied by at least 12 other people), I got the strange sense that while we shook things up at the Mill while we were there over the last 40 days, the final boot is going to fall now that the campaign is over.”
Pacheco believes that with some dedication and extra funding, 40 Days for Life can become a 365 day per year event in many Canadian cities.
40 Days for Life also wrapped up in the U.S., where an incredible 441 (editor’s note: number is now 520) lives were saved from abortion. Leaders also say that several abortion center workers quit their jobs, a number of clinics closed down for days, and thousands of hearts were touched.