I recommend we join with Christians throughout the world in beginning this Advent penitential season with a solemn “Vigil for all nascent human life” on Saturday, November 27.
Pope Benedict XVI has issued what Catholic pro-life advocates are calling an unprecedented request for prayers worldwide from all pro-life people. The call is not limited to Catholics as the Pope is asking that “all Diocesan Bishops (and their equivalent) of every particular church preside in analogous celebrations involving the faithful in their respective parishes, religious communities, associations and movements.” The head of the Catholic Church will begin Advent by celebrating a solemn “Vigil for all nascent human life” at St. Peter’s Basilica on Saturday, November 27.
Mary McClusky, the Special Projects Coordinator at the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, says the call is especially important at a time when attacks on the dignity and worth of human life seem to be at an all-time high. “At this moment in history, when societies are now endorsing the killing of humans as a perceived solution to social, economic, and environmental problems, the Holy Father is reminding us of the necessity and power of prayer to protect human life,” she said. “Despite the challenge of these events being held on Thanksgiving weekend in the United States, Catholics should not miss this opportunity to pray for unborn life.” She said the Pope’s call “may help increase awareness among family and friends about abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and other threats to children in their earliest days and weeks of life” while women who have had abortions “may be inspired to learn more, or to begin a much-needed conversation about healing from a past abortion.”