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As we approach the 43rd anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decisions legalizing abortion and ponder the loss of some 58 million human persons in those years, many among us will literally take to the streets in prayerful protests planned in our region, state, or in the nation’s capital.

All of us should do something. Our immediate suggestion?

Clip this column.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has invited participation in “9 Days for Life,” a simple-but-meaningful campaign of prayer, penance and pilgrimage that opens this Saturday, Jan. 16, and ends on Sunday, Jan. 24.

Not all pilgrimages involve leaving home. This one can be done at your dinner table, bedside, or on your mobile device. The bishops have designed a high-tech novena that can be joined — and shared via social media — through a mobile app, via text messages, by email or an online website. More information is found at

Following are the novena’s daily prayer requests, along with discussion questions and web addresses for further prayers, reflections, and suggested actions. The novena starts Saturday.  There are 58 million reasons to take part.

Day 1: For the conversion of all hearts and the end to abortion. How can we build a culture that supports  women and respects life? Find out!

Day 2: May those near the end of their lives receive medical care that repsects their dignity and protects their lives. Life is always precious—at every stage and  in every circumstance.

Day 3: May those who long for a child of their own be filled with trust in God’s loving plan. Lord, help us to see the ways you love us today.

Day 4: May children awaiting adoption be welcomed into loving families. Read about one family’s adoption story in today’s “One Step Further.”

Day 5: For an end to the use of the death penalty in our country. How can we bring hope to others and be examples of God’s merciful love?

Day 6: May all people reject pornography and respect the true meaning of love through an encounter and relationship with Christ. Only God can truly fulfill our hearts. How can we invite him into ours?

Day 7: May each person suffering the loss of a child through abortion find hope and healing in Christ. God is ready to forgive each of us! Don’t be afraid. Draw close to his heart.

Day 8: For an end to all domestic violence. 75 percent of Americans are reported to know a victim. Learn the warning signs.

Day 9: May we see and live the truth that every life is a good and perfect gift, and that our lives — all our lives — are worth living.  How will (or did) you show someone  today that their life is a gift?

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