40 Days for Life campaign kickoff events are scheduled in Champaign and Peoria

Those looking for ways to defend the sanctity of human life are invited to take part in “40 Days for Life,” a campaign of prayer, fasting, and pro-life witness to end abortion scheduled from Sept. 23 to Nov. 1.

Public vigils are planned outside Planned Parenthood centers in Champaign and Peoria.

In Champaign, two prayerful events are scheduled prior to the start of the campaign. On Saturday, Sept. 12, the National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children will be observed with a 10 a.m. rosary service outside St. Matthew Church, 1301 Lincolnshire Dr. The service will include an opening prayer, brief remarks, and recitation of the rosary.

Eric Scheidler

On Tuesday, Sept. 15, a campaign kickoff event featuring a presentation by Eric Scheidler is planned at Holy Cross Parish Center, 405 W. Clark St., also in Champaign. Scheidler is executive director of the Pro-Life Action League. His talk, titled “At the Foot of the Cross: Why Your Presence Matters at the Abortion Center,” will provide an overview of what is happening in the abortion industry, the importance of voting pro-life, and why a pro-life witness outside an abortion clinic is so impactful.

The Sept. 15 event will also provide information about 40 Days for Life and how to get involved. Because of the pandemic, in-person attendance will be limited to 50 persons, though a virtual option via Zoom is also offered. Registration is free and open to all, and can be made at signupgenius.com. (Put the email address reneemullen1@comcast.net into the search box.) For more information, contact Renee Mullen at that email address or call (217) 607-0811.

The 40-day vigil in Champaign will take place outside Planned Parenthood at 302 E. Stoughton St. The facility provides the abortion pill up to 10 weeks of pregnancy and refers for other abortion services.

PEORIA LAUNCH IS SEPT. 22

Meanwhile, the public vigil in Peoria will take place daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the public right-of-way outside of Planned Parenthood’s offices at 2709 N. Knoxville Ave.

The Peoria campaign opens with an outdoor, socially distanced rally at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 22, at Mount Carmel Farm, 4600 Mount Carmel Way. Those attending are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket. There will be music, guest speakers, and information about 40 Days for Life.

Vigil volunteers can sign up for an hour with their parish Respect Life committee or online at 40daysforlife.com/Peoria.

On 40daysforlife.com supporters can find a weekly podcast as well as sign up to receive a daily devotional prayer via email throughout the 40 days of the prayer vigil — an option for those physically unable to participate in the prayer vigil but who wish to join their prayers to others.

“Prayer and fasting are the beginning of the end of abortion, and we credit the power of prayer with the closure of Whole Women’s Health in the spring of 2019,” said Michelle Marcinak, director of the Peoria vigil. “We look with hope toward the day when the Peoria Planned Parenthood will shut its doors as well. With God’s grace, this movement will continue until every abortion center goes out of business forever.”

Questions on the Peoria campaign may be addressed to 40daysforlifepeoria@gmail.com.

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