Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

HARTFORD – The 40 Days for Life campaign in the Archdiocese of Hartford will begin Sept. 28 with a prayerful vigil outside the Hartford GYN Center, an abortion clinic on Main Street.

Catholics and non-Catholics are invited to show up that day between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., according to Mary Lou Peters, assistant coordinator of the archdiocesan Pro-Life Ministry in Meriden and coordinator of the 40 Days for Life campaign here.

 

Archbishop Henry J. Mansell will celebrate a Mass at 7:30 a.m. at St. Joseph Cathedral to mark the beginning of the campaign. The usual 12:10 p.m. Mass at the cathedral that day will not be held because of 40 Days for Life adoration.

Father Robert Rousseau, the Pro-Life Ministry’s new director, will conduct a prayer ceremony at the vigil site at 1:30. Dr. Theresa Krankowski, director of St. Gerard’s Center for Life, a pregnancy resource center near the Hartford GYN Center, will speak at that time about the center’s new ultrasound machine.

40 Days for Life is a community-based campaign begun in Bryan/College Station, Texas, in the fall of 2004. The purpose is to show communities the consequences of abortion within their own neighborhoods. Local campaigns have been held in 337 cities across all 50 states, Canada, Australia, England, Northern Ireland and Denmark, according to the official Web site, www.40daysforlife.com.

Of the 4,313 babies who have been saved from abortion worldwide, 43 were saved through the efforts of the three Hartford-based campaigns since 2008, Mrs. Peters said. Participation in 40 Days for Life consists of attending prayer vigils in Hartford, fasting, keeping vigil in a church and/or performing community outreach.

"I can’t stress enough that this is a peaceful, prayerful vigil," Mrs. Peters said of the people who pray on a traffic island outside the Hartford GYN Center at 1 Main St., where women seeking abortions walk past.

"We’re not there to even speak to women. If they choose to speak to us, that’s their choice," she said.

Dr. Krankowski said, "There’s a dramatic increase in babies saved [through St. Gerard’s] during 40 Days for Life. I would say it doubles. I hope that with more people being out there [this year], more will be saved."

Other denominations, including Baptists and Methodists, also plan to participate this year, Mrs. Peters said. Parking is free for participants at St. Peter Parish, 160 Main St.

Father Rousseau said, "The purpose is to try and get every parish in the archdiocese to commit to either a day or a full 24 hours or at least some time of adoration during that 40 days, praying for life, and also if they would be willing to sign up for a particular day to have people go to be witnesses at the abortuary in Hartford. What that means is pure and simple being a witness. They don’t talk to people; they don’t get into any debate; they’re just there to be a silent witness and to pray."

The campaign will run through Nov. 6. To sign up, contact your parish’s pro-life representative or call Mrs. Peters at (203) 745-7300.