Lent is meant to be a time of prayer and penance and for many members of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois this Lent will also be a time to use those 40 days to stand up for life.
“The Catholic community of St. Peter Parish in Petersburg and Holy Family Parish in Athens has joined together to ask for the blessings for life and protection for our faith community during the 40 Days for Life,” says Carol Muller, who co-chairs the Discipleship and Stewardship Prayer Pillar Committee for St. Peter and Holy Family, along with Kay Tasset. “Our two parishes’ Discipleship and Stewardship Prayer committees, pro-life chairpersons and Knights of Columbus Council 5754 have banned together to make these 40 days special.”
Parishioners will begin their Lenten journeys with the Novena for Life, praying the Prayer for Life in the churches, their homes and in the communities. “We will hand out the Novena for Life prayer cards and 40 Days for Life guidebooks at Masses the weekend before Ash Wednesday,” Muller says. “At the Masses on Ash Wednesday, we will collectively pray the nine-day novena prayer with the whole parish and continue praying this prayer at home each day.”
Following the nine-day novena, prayer teams will designate times and places in the community for a collective expanded novena prayer using the 40 Days guidebook. Also, at the conclusion of the novena on March 14, the community will celebrate life at the next five Friday fish fries at St. Peter Church. By doing these things Muller says the parishioners will be “continuing our Lenten journey emphasizing life from conception to natural death.”
Springfield Right to Life in cooperation with the diocesan office for Pro-Life Activities and Special Ministries is once again participating in the international 40 Days for Life™. From Ash Wednesday, March 6 to Palm Sunday, April 14 volunteers are asked to spend at least an hour of prayer in front of Planned Parenthood at 601 N. Bruns Lane in Springfield. From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, volunteers will be peacefully praying for an end to abortion, healing for post-abortive women and men, and for the conversion of Planned Parenthood workers.
More information on the Springfield vigil and signing up to pray is available at www.springfieldrtl.org. A sign-up calendar is on the website, but questions can be answered by emailing or calling (217) 523-2700. Parking for prayer warriors is available in the Springfield Right to Life parking lot at 519 N. Bruns Lane.
Muller says it is important for Catholics to use Lent as a time to pray for an end to abortion and for those who are invalid and elderly who are now at risk in our society. “We stand for life and believe we must gather our communities to protect our most precious from our unborn and born, to our aged.”