40 Days for Life: Kickoff

Hypothetical Outsider: Psh, those Catholics (and friends) and their mass gatherings! They think they can end abortion through praying?! Riiiiiighhhhhttttt. I’ll just sit here and make fun of them for a hopeless cause because they’re wasting their time. What a waste of 40 days.

Yes. Wasting our time. Because…ya know…peaceful gatherings of constant prayer for 40 days doesn’t cause:

  • Abortion clinic workers to eventually quit their jobs.  Oh wait, what about this former Planned Parenthood director or this former Planned Parenthood manager?
  • The closing of 24 abortion facilities after a 40 day prayer campaign.  Wait, that happened over the course of time [1].
  • Unity between 15,000+ church congregations.  Oops, that happened [1].
  • ~6000 known lives saved through 40 days of prayer and fasting.  Yikes, that happened too [1].
Today begins another campaign for the 40 Days For Life–forty days of constant prayer, fasting, and community in the stand for life.  This is my 3rd year participating in it.  
What’s crazy is that this started when I was still in college at the very place where it originated in Bryan/College Station.  But, due to my schedule and lack of a vehicular device, I wasn’t able to participate.  I suppose due to my lack of participation and ability to participate yet willful desire to join in college led to my fiery motivation to ensure that I participated after graduating.  And here I am.  
It’s affirming to hear the fruits of this campaign and it’s spreading like wildfire across the globe, year after year.  Check out the website for more info: www.40daysforlife.com   
Anyway, I’m blogging live from the 40 Days for Life kickoff in Ft. Worth.  Starting…now!

6:42PM
Now I’m live blogging from the 40 Days for Life Kickoff rally in Ft. Worth. I see a few familiar faces from my parish, but I’m rather impressed by the attendance right now because I’m not used to seeing this many people in front of Planned Parenthood. Rumor has it that Bishop won’t be here but he seems to be busy with things as of late.

6:54PM
I see a Franciscan Friar of the Renewal!!! Or three! Br. Shamus, Br. Stephen, and Fr. Pio! Wait, lies!  Make that all four of them! Yay Fr. Juan Diego! #CFR

7:04PM
JK. Bishop arrived!  He should have brought back a palm tree with him >_>

7:05PM
Let’s get this party started!

Friars are good at baby-holding

Bishop Vann gave an opening prayer. Now for a reading of guidelines for this campaign.  Because what makes 40 Days for Life also cool is that all participants must adhere to specific guidelines to maintain charitable peace and prayer.  We ain’t like them crazy pro-lifers who take things to the extreme.

7:11PM
David Bereit, the creator of the very first 40 Days for Life was the speaker at this kickoff!  WHOOP! (that’s Texas Aggie for affirmation of awesomeness)

He’s bringing up how Texas paved the way for legalizing abortion, yet here we stand years later in the biggest 40 Days for Life campaign yet.  He gave us some stats from Planned Parenthood on abortion, then provided a motivational speech on why we’re doing this.  He also recounted stories about his journey in doing the 40 Days for Life.  Pretty cool.  Again, it boggles my mind that this all started while I was at college, just a mile or two from where I lived/schooled.  The kickoff rally ended with a Presbyterian minister doing the closing prayer.  Which, to me, is cool because…the pro-life effort is a universal one.

//endliveblogging

Anyway, I’m pretty excited about this campaign.  I’m still trying to decide how I want to spend my time in prayer during my committed hour of prayer once a week.  Last year, I blogged on my iPhone reflecting on abortion and Planned Parenthood, which I’ll “reblog” on this blog since those posts reside on my older blog.

40 days.  Challenge accepted.
– JD

[1] 40 Days for Life, Sept 2012