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Saint Paul Students for Life: 40 Days for Life

This post was written for Saint Paul Students for Life by srmarylouisepd. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

40daysTomorrow, 25th of September marks the beginning of the daily vigil of prayer, fasting and outreach for the 40 Days for Life. 40 Days for Life vigils will begin in 306 cities from coast to coast in North America — and in eight other countries around the world.40 Days for Life is a focused pro-life effort that consists of:

-40 days of prayer and fasting for an end of abortion

-40 days of peaceful vigil

-40 days of community outreach

The latest closure of the abortion clinic in Midlands, Texas, USA, brings the number of closed abortion facilities — where 40 Days for Life prayer vigils have been held to 40!

For the next forty days, individuals and community outreach groups will gather near the abortion mill here on Bank Street, Ottawa to pray and give peaceful witness to the dignity of life. St. Paul’s Students for Life will also join in this event.

The Scripture passage that sums up the spirit of 40 Days for Life is 2 Chronicles 7:14 — “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

For more about 40 Days for Life, check out their website here.

Read the comments at the Saint Paul Students for Life website.

uOttawa Students For Life: Coming Up in Ottawa

This post was written for uOttawa Students For Life by uOttawa Students For Life. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

First Place OPTIONS is holding its 20th Anniversary Dinner & Auction this Friday, October 19th, from 6pm to 10pm. Our club supports this pregnancy resource centre every year through our December baby shower.

Life Canada‘s National Pro-Life Conference is October 25-27 and takes place not in Ottawa but in Toronto.

Kathleen Gray of the Centre for Reproductive Loss will be at Saint Paul University on Saturday, November 3rd in Room 102 (through the main doors, up the stairs, and straight down the hall to your left) for a training session from 9:30-10:30am and Q&A from 10:30-11:30am, regarding the Healing Process Model © for use by counselors, clergy, etc. in acknowledging and compassionately addressing the emotional, spiritual, and psychological distress of individuals and families affected by such loss as miscarriage, stillbirth, abortion, adoption, SIDS, infertility, and sterility.

On the evening of November 3, Action Life has a fundraiser with Brian Lilley called Changing the Culture by Changing Hearts and Minds at St. Maurice Parish (4 Perry Street). Cocktails are at 6:30pm, the lasagna dinner is at 7pm and the cost is $35.

The 40 Days for Life campaign continues until November 4th.

A Rachel’s Vineyard retreat weekend will be held in Ottawa the weekend of November 9-11 to offer non-judgmental post-abortion healing for women and men.

A Wine and Chocolate Tasting Event to benefit Campaign Life Coalition and the Miriam Centre will be held on Sunday, November 18 from 2pm to 5pm at St. Francis Xavier High School (3740 Spratt Road). The event will be hosted by Nick Vandergradt from CFRA and Stephen Woodworth will be the guest speaker.

Also in Toronto rather than Ottawa, the deVeber Institute‘s Annual Dinner and Public Lecture will be on November 22 at 7pm. Margaret Somerville will speak on The Deadly Debate: Physician-Assisted Suicide on Trial at the University of Toronto. Email bioethics@deveber.org for more info and to RSVP for this free event.

Read the comments at the uOttawa Students For Life website.

Saint Paul Students for Life: Public Prayer for Life

This post was written for Saint Paul Students for Life by frkenmikulcik. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

In Ireland, this Sunday, we celebrate the ‘Day for Life’. The bishops made their appeal in a special pastoral message which will be read and distributed in all Catholic parishes on the island this weekend and which also marks the start of a month of prayer around the theme “Choose Life!”, announced last month. Ireland’s Catholic bishops have called on “all who believe in the equal dignity and beauty of every human life” to “join us in calling on our public representatives to respect the humanity and life of children in the womb and to reject abortion.”
Throughout Canada and the US, something similar called the 40 Days for Life is currently in course. It began on the 26th of September and runs until the 4th of November. There have now been ten coordinated 40 Days for Life campaigns since 2007, mobilizing people of faith and conscience in 440 cities across the United States and Canada, plus cities in Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Belize, Denmark, England, Georgia, Germany, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Poland, Puerto Rico and Spain.
On Friday, 5th of October, a small group of students from St. Paul’s University and some others gathered to pray the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet outside the abortion clinic in Bank Street here in Ottawa. To be honest, I was slightly nervous as this was my first time to participate in any kind of public display of Pro-Life prayer. Thankfully in Ireland, abortion is still illegal and we don’t have abortion clinics or abortion mills. Before we went to Bank Street, we went to St. Patrick’s Basilicaand prayed before the Blessed Sacrament. From there onwards I was at peace. I asked the Lord to give me strength to be his instrument, silent and convinced of the precious gift of life.

We made our way down to the venue where a small group of people had already gathered to support the 40 Days for Life.One of the priests pointed out the location of the clinic as we were standing on the opposite side of the busy street. In my head I guessed that it would be a backstreet dingy and dark building but this was a shiny main street building, flanked by McDonalds and Curves. The irony is that Curves, an international chain of women’s gyms, often direct their advertisements towards women who want to get back their figure after giving birth! A glitzy Rolex jeweller shop front was the main attraction of the whole building. No-one would know that on the third floor of this same building, abortions were taking place. There was something very eerie about the normality of life around this centre of death. I wondered to myself, how many people know what goes on in there? Or if the people in the Rolex jewellers are aware of what is going on over their heads as they spend hundreds of dollars on jewellery. Again, ironically, one of the priests pointed out to me that the trees on the street are all protected by netting so they don’t get damaged. Somewhere along the way our priorities have seriously gone out of synch!
We prayed the Rosary, taking a decade each. Some people stopped and stared. Others awkwardly moved along quickly or ignored us pretending not to see us. Children waved and smiled. Life went on around us. People ate their lunch on the street benches beside us as teenagers giggled and laughed, texted and called friends. As we prayed, I offered each Hail Mary for those mothers, prayed that Mary, our Mother, would touch their hearts so as to welcome the life that God had allowed them to conceive. She knew too well what it was like to experience a pregnancy that was not expected, not planned, yet it was God’s will that she bring forth a child.
It was very fitting that we also prayed the Chaplet of Divine Mercy on the feast day of St. Faustina. Each invocation ‘for the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world’, reminded me also of Jesus’ words: “forgive them Father for they do not know what they are doing”. Deep down, I believe that these mothers and fathers do not know the full extent of the harm which they are doing to themselves, not to mention, their unborn baby.

This little but powerful group of prayer meets every Friday to pray whether it be sun, rain or snow. Next Friday, 12th of October, 2nd day of the Year of Faith, the students from St. Paul’s will pray at the site for the whole day from 7am to 7pm to continue the prayer for the 40 Days for Life. The Word of God will be proclaimed throughout that time too. On this day, our priests will offer Mass for this intention. Many others who cannot make it to pray on site will pray from their homes, their communities or wherever they may be. Please join with us wherever you are and pray that hope will shine through for those who see abortion as the only way out. If we create a culture where life is valued, we really will live the fullness of life which Jesus promises us (Jn 10, 10).

Sr. Mary-Louise PDDM

Read the comments at the Saint Paul Students for Life website.

Wanted: A Few (More) Good Men

By Rebecca Richmond

“Not a single boy from our club came to help,” noted the club president with a sigh. We had just spent two days outside in the cold, sharing the pro-life message with thousands of students on this campus. But it had been the women of the club who had endured the name calling, insults and outright hostility from their peers.

“There’s the problem,” I quipped. “You have boys. We need some men.”

Though pro-choicers will sometimes accuse our movement of being run by old men, the opposite is more likely true. Just last week, one protestor at UBC wielded a sign that read, “77% of anti-abortion leaders are male. 100% will never get pregnant.” I don’t know where the 77% statistic came from, for even a cursory look at the Movement would show the reverse. NCLN, for example, has an all-female staff and a mostly female board. Numerous organizations have similarly skewed demographics.

So I chuckle when I hear those accusations, but the reality is no laughing matter.

Through my pro-life work, now and previously as a student, I have been privileged to work alongside incredible young men. They are pro-life in principle and in action. These men often face more hostility, from men and women alike, whenever they are publically pro-life. They take the abuse in stride and continue to pray in front of abortion clinics, to engage in dialogue on street corners with Choice Chain, to stand in front of a pro-life table at the university centre, and to speak up in class. Unfortunately, they are rarer than they ought to be.

Sadly, although there are other men out there who are opposed to abortion, many won’t lift a finger to stop the carnage. They’ll give a thumbs up or a “God bless” when they pass 40 Days for Life, but you won’t catch them taking an active, let alone public, role.
Then, there are men out there who intuitively dislike abortion and who would support their significant other through a pregnancy, but they can’t “force their opinions on anyone else.”

Many more refuse to really look at the issue at all.

“What do you think about abortion?” I’ve asked countless young men on campuses and on street corners.

If I had a dollar for every time I heard, “I’m a guy. It’s a woman’s issue,” well, I’d be a wealthy woman.
These “men” place the issue squarely on women’s shoulders. Perhaps it’s because they’ve been brainwashed to think this is what respecting women’s rights is all about, and perhaps it’s because this “choice” allows them to continue living their lifestyle “consequence-free”. It’s probably a combination of both.

Abortion definitely affects men and women differently, but it is not solely a woman’s issue. It is a human rights violation and, since responsibility for this atrocity rests on both men and women, so too does the remedy.

So to all my stalwart, courageous, compassionate, selfless pro-life brothers: thank you. You inspire and encourage me. You give me hope for the future. Thank you for standing up for women, for babies, for the future generations. Thank you for respecting and honoring me and the pro-life women you stand with.

To all the other good men out there: I’ve heard you say that you’re afraid, nervous of saying the wrong thing, not sure how to handle the anger and emotion you might encounter. I know you have other things to do: commitments, ministries, jobs, activities. But are the fears and obstacles that hold you back more important than the cause I know you believe in? Please, won’t you stand up and stand alongside us?

Our society has more than enough boys. What are we need are many more good men.

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uOttawa Students For Life: Finding Your Spark

This post was written for uOttawa Students For Life by uOttawa Students For Life. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

by James Richmond

It is not difficult for people to believe something for so long that they end up forgetting why they believed it in the first place. Unfortunately, this has happened several times in my life, but, thankfully, each time something has happened to reaffirm my belief.

I was raised in a pro-life environment and I accepted the idea that abortion is wrong early on in my childhood. Obviously, as I grew my beliefs were challenged and thus they matured, helping to bring me to where I am today: majoring in Ethics at the University of Ottawa. Almost every day I have the opportunity to debate current controversial issues with my professors and classmates. We cover a broad range of topics like abortion, euthanasia, stem cell research, eugenics, and animal rights. While I am so thankful that I have been given these wonderful opportunities to try and change the hearts and minds of my classmates, sometimes I can get caught up in the philosophizing and forget the very real battle that is taking place every day in abortion clinics around the world.

A couple of weeks ago, during the spring break, I was privileged to be able to travel down to Florida with some of my close friends to enjoy the beaches. While we were visiting, the 40 Days for Life campaign was taking place, and the local parish invited us to join them outside the abortion clinic for the hour that they had signed up for. We gladly accepted and spent an hour that evening holding signs and praying for any young couple who was considering an abortion.

I have participated in the 40 Days for Life campaign in Ottawa, and I knew that this was not just confined to Canada, but despite that knowledge it was inspiring to see our two nations united in a common purpose. As I mentioned earlier, despite debating life issues frequently in class, it is easy to view abortion in a sterilized, philosophical light, and not as an ongoing reality where lives are lost every day. Standing out on the sidewalk in Florida with a pregnancy crisis centre on one side of the street and an abortion clinic on the other side, I was reminded just how real the battle is that is going on for the lives of our preborn children.

It may seem like a comical comparison, but the two buildings straddling the street with their two very different purposes seemed similar to the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other acting as two opposing consciences. I can only imagine the incredible stress and fear that must go on in a woman’s head as she stands looking at those two buildings on either side of her. While I stood there and prayed for the lives of the preborn and the hearts of the couples considering an abortion, my passion for the pro-life campaign was reignited.

The purpose behind this blog post is not to just tell you about an experience that I had, but to challenge readers to find their spark. Go out and find the spark the reignites the fire in your heart so that when you begin to question why it is that you are going to a club meeting when you have a paper due the next day, you will think back to that spark and be inspired. Whether it be seeing the horrific graphic images of aborted foetuses, standing on a street corner outside a clinic or high school, or debating with your friends, I hope that everyone fighting for the rights of the preborn has something that stirs up their passion for defending life.

Read the comments at the uOttawa Students For Life website.

uOttawa Students For Life: Post-grad pro-life activism tips

This post was written for uOttawa Students For Life by uOttawa Students For Life. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

by Alana Beddoe
So the school year is upon us and maybe this is the first year you aren’t going back to the grind. What is your role in the pro-life movement now?
Here are a few ideas:
-Get involved in projects with Action Life or Campaign Life Coalition; there are events that take place through the year that need planning and advertising.
-Volunteer to speak in front of high school students.
-Offer to mentor new members in the pro-life club that you were part of.
-Participate in the 40 Days for Life campaign taking place from Sept. 28 to Nov. 6 in Ottawa in front of the abortion clinic on Bank St.
-If you are involved with a faith group, volunteer to steer the pro-life committee.
-Support pro-life organizations financially.
Remember that the people you work with might need a listening ear and someone to explain the pro-life message to them. So stay up to date with pro-life apologetics!

Read the comments at the uOttawa Students For Life website.

uOttawa Students For Life: 40 Days for Life

This post was written for uOttawa Students For Life by uOttawa Students For Life. It does not necessarily represent the views of NCLN.

uOSFL would like to remind all our readers that 40 Days for Life began on September 22 and will continue on until October 31 across from the Morgentaler Clinic at Bank and Sparks.

Although this is a religious event, uOSFL supports the amount of coverage this event brings to something that no one is willing to talk about – that abortions are carried out daily in our fair city.

As such, uOSFL will be participating on Fridays from noon to three. We welcome you to go and participate with any organisation you may be part of or with your friends and family, but we also welcome you to come stand with us. Regardless of your beliefs on prayer, we are a public presence against institutionalised murder.

For more information, please see 40 Days’ website.

Read the comments at the uOttawa Students For Life website.