January 26, 2017
The National Prayer Vigil for Life will be held beginning today (Jan. 26) through Friday morning, January 27, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. More than 20,000 pilgrims from around the nation include several hundred young adults from the Diocese of St. Augustine, will pray there for an end to abortion before the annual March for Life. The Vigil marks the 44th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions legalizing abortion nationwide. Since those decisions, more than 57 million abortions have been performed legally in the United States.
The principal celebrant and homilist at the Vigil Opening Mass is Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities. It will be concelebrated by his fellow cardinals and many of the nation’s bishops and priests in the Basilica’s Great Upper Church. The Vigil continues overnight in the Crypt Church with confessions, a National Rosary for Life, Byzantine Rite Night Prayer, and holy hours led by seminarians from across the country from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.
[cs_button href=”https://youtu.be/-zG5cJZi0FQ” type=”flat” shape=”pill” size=”md” color=”accent” no_uppercase=”1″ bgcolor=”#a31636″ bghovercolor=”#a33951″ textcolor=”#ffffff” texthovercolor=”#ffffff”]Ver en Español[/cs_button]On Friday at 8:45 a.m., at St. Peter Catholic Church on Capitol Hill, all pilgrims traveling to Washington, D.C. from Florida are invited to attend the second annual Mass for Florida Pilgrims prior to the March for Life. Bishop Felipe Estévez is the principal concelebrant and Father Michael Nixon is the homilist. Seminarians from the Dioceses of Florida will serve at the Mass. The
“Each year, the National Prayer Vigil for Life is a joyful, if sober, event, with thousands of young people from around the country. Led by our bishops, we are working to end abortion through prayer, education, advocacy, and acts of mercy,” said Deirdre McQuade, assistant director for pro-life communications at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
“This beautiful night of prayer also falls within the bishops’ annual prayer and action campaign, 9 Days for Life, which covers a range of life issues,” McQuade continued. “Ours is an abortion-wounded nation, and so we pray, too, for healing for mothers, fathers, grandparents, siblings, and others who are suffering in any way after abortion.”
On the day of the March for Life, January 27, the Basilica will host Morning Prayer in the Crypt Church at 6:30 a.m., and then the Vigil’s Closing Mass at 7:30 a.m. in the Great Upper Church, with Archbishop Aymond of New Orleans as principal celebrant and homilist.
The National Prayer Vigil for Life is co-sponsored by the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and The Catholic University of America.