On Sunday, Sept. 20, the Jacksonville community celebrated the opening of the local 40 Days for Life campaign. This peaceful campaign of prayer and fasting for an end to abortion has taken place in Jacksonville since the first national campaign in 2007. For the first time, the Diocese of St. Augustine is leading the prayer campaign under the direction of Mary Catherine Damon, Diocesan Respect Life Coordinator.
The kick-off event began with Mass at Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Jacksonville celebrated by Father Joseph Kuhlman. There were approximately 100 people in attendance all praying for a successful 40 Days for Life campaign. During his homily, Father Joseph Kuhlman prayed that our Lord’s Most Precious Blood would cover the abortion facility where the prayer campaign will take place — A Woman’s Choice of Jacksonville — and that this place would be redeemed. He also encouraged all present to be rooted in prayer and entrusted our prayers to Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patroness of the unborn.
Following the opening Mass was the kick-off rally, which took place in the parking lot of the Women’s Help Center, a local pregnancy resource center located 1 block away from the abortion facility. There were approximately 50 people in attendance. Guest speakers included Father Scott Looker of the Charismatic Episcopal Church of the Messiah, Dr. Pete and Mrs. Patricia Kuhlman of St. Paul Parish in Jacksonville Beach, Mary Catherine Damon, Patti Sloan and Father Ed Murphy. During the rally people learned more about how to get involved with the campaign, the importance of positive messaging when praying at the abortion facility, and the foundations of peace and prayer to this campaign.
40 Days for Life is a campaign made up of prayer and fasting, peaceful vigil, and community outreach for an end to abortion. This fall it will be taking place in our diocese in two locations: Jacksonville and Gainesville. To learn how you can participate in the campaign, visit: www.40DaysforLife.com/Jacksonville or www.40DaysforLife.com/Gainesville.