Coinciding with the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade that made abortion legal in 1973, the 9 Days for Life prayer campaign will run this year from Jan. 19-27 across the United States.

An initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat for Pro-life Activities, 9 Days for Life is a novena for the protection of human life that organizes its nine days with specific reflections, activities and prayers intended to help build a culture of life.

The daily prayers and full novena are available in multiple formats – as webpages, PDF and Microsoft Word files at https://www.respectlife.org/9-days-for-life.

Participants can sign up for daily notifications via email; the information will also be posted on the Respect Life Diocese of Trenton Facebook page.

“Each parish and Catholic community in our Diocese is encouraged to prayerfully participate in this unique pro-life novena along with many thousands of Catholics around the country,” said Rachel Hendricks, diocesan Respect Life ministries coordinator. “The January 22 Roe v. Wade Anniversary is also designated by the USCCB each year as the Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children.”

Click HERE to see the Day of Prayer information.

“At every stage and in every circumstance, we are held in existence by God’s love,” begins the 9 Days for Life’s Day 1 reflection. “The presence of an illness, disability, or other challenging situation never diminishes the value of a human life … Abortion tragically rejects the truth that every life is a good and perfect gift, deserving protection. This violent practice ends the life of a human being at its very beginning and horribly wounds all those involved. But Christ came that we “might have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10), taking on human flesh for the sake of our redemption.”

In addition to prayers and reflections, the 9 Days for Life includes suggestions for acts of reparation and further reading that can build on the efficacy of the novena and help raise awareness. Examples include giving up television and movies for a day and spending that time in prayer instead, abstaining from meat or another personal abstention or sacrifice in solidarity with pro-life efforts.

“This year is a particularly important time for New Jersey Catholics to become more intentionally engaged in prayer for the unborn,” Hendricks noted. “The Supreme Court is currently deciding on a case regarding a Mississippi law which could very well result in a Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v Wade, or significantly restrict the impact of Roe.  Because of this, many New Jersey legislators and groups quickly moved to codify a woman’s right to an abortion this month by passing extreme legislation to further expand abortion access in the state.

“While it is extremely important for Catholics and all people of good will to stand up against unjust laws that cause harm to unborn children, we also know that the ultimate end to abortion will only come through conversion of hearts – and so we must pray,” Hendricks continued. “The 9 Days for Life novena offers all of us a beautiful opportunity to join in this national effort for the conversion of hearts, healing of wounded souls and for the protection of every human life.”