40 Days for Life coming to 4 regions of diocese this fall

Photo Caption: Johnny Berlinger of St. Philomena Parish in Peoria holds a sign outside Peoria’s abortion facility during the 40 Days for Life campaign last fall.

Kick-off events inviting wide participation in “40 Days for Life” campaigns to end abortion and bring the pro-life message to communities are coming to several locations in the Diocese of Peoria in September.

Campaigns emphasizing prayer and fasting, peaceful vigils, and community outreach are being organized in Champaign, Ottawa, Peoria, and the Quad Cities for Sept. 25 through Nov. 3.

“Because of the prayerful, peaceful focus of the campaign, 40 Days for Life is a great first activity for those wanting to get involved in the pro-life movement,” said Laura Gallant, who is helping to coordinate the Champaign vigil.

“For those already active in the pro-life movement, 40 Days for Life is a powerful way to continue regularly bringing the pro-life message to the community and storming heaven with prayers to end abortion,” she added.

The local campaigns are part of a coordinated international pro-life mobilization in hundreds of cities. Participants are asked to consider spending an hour in prayer outside a local abortion facility and to pledge regular prayer and fasting at home.

Preceding the campaigns will be kick-off events that will further explain the effort and feature sign-up opportunities.

The first kick-off will be Thursday, Sept. 12, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Northwoods Community Church, 10700 N. Allen Road in Peoria. It will feature a talk by Sue Thayer, a former manager of a Planned Parenthood clinic.

The vigil for the Peoria campaign will take place outside National Health Care, 7405 N. University St. Karen Guth, coordinator, points out that this fall participants will also stand near the Women’s Care Center, a pro-life pregnancy center that recently opened right next door.

“We are so blessed to have the center open,” said Guth. “Lives are being saved because it is open.” For more information on the Peoria 40 Days for Life campaign, contact Guth at (309) 453-7493.

In Champaign, a kick-off is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 16, at the Holy Cross Parish Center, 405 W. Clark St. Speakers will be Monica Kelsey and Kristi Hofferber from the pro-life group Savethe1. Refreshments will follow.

The Champaign vigil, which includes strong involvement of students from the University of Illinois as well as area church communities, will take place in front of Planned Parenthood, 302 E. Stoughton Street. Contact Laura Gallant for more information at 40days@prolifeillinois.com.

In Ottawa, the 40 Days for Life kickoff rally will feature music, talks, and giveaways and take place on Tuesday, Sept. 24, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Jordan Block Park, 119 W. Main. That will also be the vigil site. It is located a half-block south of the Planned Parenthood office.

“Illinois Valley Citizens for Life sponsors this annual event in hopes just one woman will change her mind, that one abortion worker will turn their backs to their employer, and ultimately one infant’s life will be spared,” said Amy Kimura-Bayley, a coordinator in Ottawa. For more information, email her at amykimurarn@gmail.com.

In the Quad Cities, the kick-off prayer rally will be at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 25, on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood, 2751 Tech Drive in Bettendorf, Iowa. A prayer service will be led by Patrick McCauley from St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Davenport.

“We recognize that with God all things are possible so we use prayer and fasting as our method,” said Jeanne Wonio, a Quad Cities coordinator. “We then get out of the way and let God transform hearts.”

For more information on the Quad Cities campaign, email her at schweet@mchsi.com.

General information on 40 Days for Life is available online at 40daysforlife.com.

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