40 Days for Life campaign underway in Charlotte, Greensboro and Winston-Salem
'As Catholics we know the way to end abortion is to change the hearts of those who do not embrace the dignity and sanctity of life'
CHARLOTTE — For the spring 2012 40 Days for Life campaign, Charlotte organizers decided to double their efforts by holding vigils at two area abortion facilities. The result: an astonishing 53 babies saved in Charlotte alone, more than one per day during the 40-day campaign. All the result of dedicated prayer and vigil.
The 11TH coordinated national campaign since 2004 got underway Sept. 26, and three cities within the Diocese of Charlotte are participating: Charlotte, Winston-Salem and Greensboro. 40 Days for Life focuses on prayer and fasting, constant vigil and community outreach for the end to abortion.
Pictured: Shawn Carney from the national 40 Days for Life campaign visited Charlotte during the spring campaign earlier this year, to participate in the vigil going on outside one of the city's two abortion facilities, Family Reproductive Health on East Hebron Street. (File photo By SueAnn Howell, Catholic News Herald)
"Fasting is crucial to the success of this vigil," explained Leslie Marsh, member of Our Lady of Grace Church in Greensboro and coordinator of that city's vigil. "Giving up some of our own creature comforts enables God – the Holy Spirit – to fill us. It is a form of prayer.
"We are really pushing a media fast: turning off your Facebook, TV, radio and spend some quiet time with Christ in contemplation and remaining in silent prayer with Him."
"This is our first year bringing this into our community," Marsh added. "We are just really excited about getting this message out to our community."
Of the 314 participating locations, 46 are first-time campaigns like Greensboro's. Vigils are scheduled in 49 states, Washington, D.C., seven Canadian provinces, Australia, England, Spain and – for the first time – Uganda.
"Evil is the absence of a good that should be present – in this case, respect for the reproductive nature of our bodies and the life it creates as a natural reflection of the goodness and love of God," said Gretchen Filz, Respect Life coordinator at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish.
"As Catholics we know the way to end abortion is to change the hearts of those who do not embrace the dignity and sanctity of life," said Maggi Nadol, director of the Respect Life Program for the diocese. "We do this through prayer and faith in action, such as assisting those struggling with an unplanned pregnancy or becoming a part of our parish Respect Life committees."
Added Filz, "So this is not a 'feel-good' ministry and I don't get involved because I enjoy it. I do it because 1) it works, and 2) it needs to be done, and 3) I am capable of doing it. And even if #1 weren't true, #2 and #3 still would be. So, I do it."
— Mary B. Worthington, correspondent
Join a vigil in your community!
A Preferred Women's Healthcare Center: 3220 Latrobe Dr.. Charlotte, NC 28211
7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily
Family Reproductive Health: 700 E. Hebron St., Charlotte, NC 28273
A Women's Choice of NC: 201 Pomona Drive, Greensboro, NC 27407
7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily
Planned Parenthood Health Systems: 3000 Maplewood Ave., Winston-Salem, NC 27103
8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily
FROM THE PASTORS
Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte:
- Fr. Frank Cancro at Queen of the Apostles
- Fr. Patrick Earl at St. Peter in Charlotte
- Fr. John Eckert at St. John the Baptist in Tryon
- Fr. Timothy Reid at St. Ann in Charlotte
- Fr. Benjamin Roberts at Our Lady of Lourdes in Monroe
- Fr. Patrick Winslow at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Watch full Masses live and on demand, listen to homilies and reflections from Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury
- Listen to homilies from St. William Catholic Church in Murphy