Vigils, extra events as 40 Days for Life set Sept. 25-Nov. 3 at three sites in diocese
Concerned individuals and parish groups are invited to take part in coordinated campaigns of prayer, fasting, and peaceful public vigils to end abortion during 40 Days for Life outreaches planned in the Diocese of Peoria and around the nation from Sept. 25 to Nov. 3.
Daily vigils, at which participants also pray for help and healing for all affected by abortion, are scheduled at locations providing or referring for abortion services in Bloomington, Champaign, and Peoria. All faiths and ages are welcome to participate.
This year, related events are also planned at each location in the diocese. Details, as well as contacts for further information and to sign up for vigil hours, are found below.
BLOOMINGTON: MOVIE ON SEPT. 15, CONCERT ON OCT. 13
In Bloomington, the campaign will get an early motivational preview this Sunday, Sept. 15, with a free showing of the movie “Unplanned” at 5:30 p.m. in the Central Catholic High School auditorium, 1201 Airport Road. Released in theaters in late March, “Unplanned” tells the story of Abby Johnson and her journey from being the youngest clinic director in the history of Planned Parenthood to a leading voice in the pro-life movement.
On Sunday, Oct. 13, a concert featuring Christian singer and songwriter Mitch McVicker will take place starting at 6:30 p.m. at Historic St. Patrick Church, 1209 W. Locust St. McVicker’s career has included the release of 10 albums and sharing a GMA Dove Award with the late Rich Mullins for the song “My Deliverer.”
“Both of these events will have people from the community sharing their stories related to abortion,” said Stephanie Adams, who is coordinating 40 Days for Life in Bloomington-Normal. While there is no admission charge, donations will be accepted to support area women in need.
The events will also encourage sign-ups for the Bloomington-Normal 40 Days for Life vigil to be held from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily on the public sidewalk outside Planned Parenthood at 1319 N. Veterans Parkway in Bloomington.
“The more slots we have filled, the more powerful this prayer campaign will be,” said Adams, a member of Epiphany Parish in Normal. “We are striving to close that facility and bring an end to the abortions within our community and hopefully the world one day,” she added.
For more information: Contact — Stephanie Adams, (309) 825-0495, firstname.lastname@example.org; Visit —
CHAMPAIGN: OFFER TRAINING SESSION ON OCT. 1
In Champaign, the vigil will take place outside Planned Parenthood, 302 E. Stoughton St., where the abortion pill is provided up to 10 weeks of pregnancy and referrals are made for other abortion services.
To promote this year’s campaign and educate on life issues, a pro-life training session led by Illinois Right to Life has been scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 1, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Holy Cross Parish Center, 405 W. Clark St. Led by Mary Kate Knorr, executive director of Illinois Right to Life, the session is free and open to all. It will include how to have compassionate, loving conversations with people about pro-life issues as well as updates on abortion legislation.
PEORIA: CELEBRATION/MEMORIAL KICKOFF SEPT. 24
In Peoria, a 40 Days for Life Kickoff Rally is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 24, at the Women’s Care Center parking lot, 7319 N. University St. (Rain location: St. Vincent de Paul Parish hall, 6001 University St.) In addition to providing prayerful motivation for the approaching vigil, the evening will celebrate the recent closing of Peoria’s surgical abortion facility, located for years next door.
As a result of the closing, the Peoria 40 Days for Life vigil is moving to a new location — Planned Parenthood at 2709 N. Knoxville Ave.
“In the past year we have celebrated the closing of Peoria’s Whole Woman’s Health surgical abortion facility — praise God!” said Karen Guth, the Peoria campaign’s Catholic contact. The Planned Parenthood location, she explained, distributes the medication abortion up to 10 weeks of pregnancy and makes referrals to Springfield for surgical abortions.
“Let us, with God’s help, close this one also with our prayers and witness,” said Guth.
Vigil participants may stand on sidewalks along either Knoxville Avenue or West Hanssler Place, with parking available on West Hannsler Place. Guth encouraged those taking part to bring their own signs and and chairs.
Pro-lifers from Knox County are invited to fill the vigil hours in Peoria on Friday, Oct. 4. To volunteer or for more information, call Dick Conklin at (309) 343-2852.